When a divorced spouse marries someone new, it is important for him or her to inform the new spouse of any existing custody judgments, divorce judgments, or court orders concerning the custody and care of the divorced spouse’s children. The ex-spouse should also be notified of the marriage. A new spouse is expected to align his or her behavior with the terms of the existing custody order. While a new family unit has been formed, any prior orders regarding custody, visitation, vacation scheduling, and decision-making must still be followed by the parties. Your new spouse should not attempt to interfere with your ex-spouse’s parenting time; this only leads to trouble.
Many people put provisions into their parenting agreements which state that any new spouse of a divorcing parent will not be called “mom” or “dad” because that would alienate the children’s natural mother or father. Ensuring that the divorced spouses and the new spouse are “on the same page” regarding an existing parenting agreement or custody judgment helps avoid unnecessary conflict and instability. Keeping dramatic situations between old and new spouses to a minimum can help avoid creating more stress for the children.