he traditional definition of a "normal" family life cycle is changing in our evolving lifestyles. There are many different styles that achieve a "normal" life for many people. My focus is on the transitional changes for families when a couple's marriage breaks down and the intact, nuclear family life is disorganized. The couple separates and forms a bi-nuclear family. The marriage has terminated, but biological parents are permanent: both parents to their children and children to their parents. A survey in 1990 reported that one out of three children will experience their parental divorce before they are 18 years old.
The separated partners with children have a big adjustment in terms of what responsibility each partner must recognize about their personal share in the marriage breakup. Both parents must get on with their personal and separate lives to reorganize the separate households into bi-nuclear families. Studies indicate that 3/4 of divorced people go into another relationship, either a remarriage or cohabitation, three to five years after the divorce.
With the growing divorce rate and growing post-divorce remarriage, my clinical practice as a marital therapist was changing. Problems were different. The remarriage family is unique. My clients indicated they were unprepared for many of the problems.
By Lillian Messinger
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For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/--