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What divorced parents should know before they remarry

You've been divorced for awhile now, and you are engaged to marry someone else. Your future spouse and your children get along. Things are going smoothly. However, there are still some important things you need to consider before you book the country club, send out the wedding invitations and plan the honeymoon cruise.

First, talk with your Arizona family law attorney. Unlike some states, Arizona has no waiting period after divorce before you can remarry. However, there may be provisions in your divorce decree that you need to consider.

While your alimony payments are probably set to end if you remarry, your remarriage likely won't impact any child support payments unless your ex-spouse seeks a modification. However, it's wise to review your divorce documents with your attorney. It's essential that you and your ex are in agreement on any changes to support after you remarry.

If you and your new spouse will be living under the same roof for the first time after you marry, it's important to have clear house rules for the kids -- particularly if you're going to be moving into your new spouse's home. Kids need to know what the expectations are, and you and your new spouse need to be consistent in enforcing the rules, even if your parenting styles are different. Discipline can be a tricky issue -- particularly if your new spouse also has kids whom he or she is bringing into the marriage.

Likely, you're both already making it a habit not to criticize your or each other's ex-spouses in front of the kids. Resolve any parenting issues you have among yourselves. Don't put the children in the middle. It can be harmful to them. Further, kids generally learn quickly that they can use parents' conflicts with one another to their advantage.

If you believe that some family therapy can help you through the transition into this new phase of your life, you're not alone. No one can be "The Brady Bunch." A lot of families benefit from therapy, whether it's just the new spouses or the kids are included as well. Your attorney can likely recommend a family therapist in your area who specializes in helping blended families.

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