The 16th September is National Step-Family Day in America. National Step-Family Day has been celebrated annually there since 1997 and it will no doubt be only a matter of time before it will be a recognised national day in the UK.
Many families are made up of step-parents and half siblings. With over one third of marriages celebrated in the UK ending in divorce or separation, and more and more couples choosing to cohabit rather than marry, the family unit is now probably more diverse than it has ever been.
Divorce no longer carries the stigma it once did and what has been described as the “blended family” is common place in today’s society. It is estimated that approximately 10% of children are being raised by a step-family.
Many of the cases we deal with in our family team involve wide family structures and arrangements involving step-families.
The step-parent can often play an important role in a child’s life. In many cases they may be more involved in the child’s life than their biological parent. However, the creation of the step-family will be as a result of a death of a person or the end of a relationship. In many cases this may bring with it difficulties and issues that can impact what may be a fragile family structure.
At Slater and Gordon we are specialists in providing expert legal advice on family law issues. We can advise step-parents and step-families upon obtaining court orders to recognise and protect their status as best as possible. There are also many different avenues of support that we can signpost families towards during difficult times, which have proved invaluable in the past.
Patricia Robinson is a Senior Associate Family Lawyer specialising in divorce and children matters with Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
For a fixed fee appointment with one of our family law specialists, to obtain advice in relation to a relationship breakdown or for general family law advice call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on 0800 916 9055 or alternatively contact us online.