These families take a multitude of forms:
● Divorced with children; the children reside with one parent and visit the other. Most are dating or looking for new partners.
● Remarried, re-coupled, living together, with his and/or her children; He/she is in the role of stepparent.
● Single Mothers; re-coupled, dating and alone.
● Divorced Dads; these dads generally visit their children. Often they are re-coupled, bringing a stepmother figure into their children’s lives.
● The divorced biological father whose children visit is not counted. These children do not legally "reside" with their fathers. So, neither government, nor academic research counts these fathers and their children as stepfamilies.
Stepfamilies are not addressed, assessed and counted---further casting our society into: the loss of family traditions, like the family meal, the disintegration of parental roles, rules and values. The result a quagmire of "not-knowing."
The numbers tell the story: The US Bureau of Census relates:
- 1300 new stepfamilies are forming every day.
- Over 50% of US families are remarried or re-coupled.
- The average marriage in America lasts only seven years.
- 1 out of 2 marriages ends in divorce. 75% remarry
- 2 out of 3 of those living together or remarried break up, when children are involved.
- 80% of remarried, or re-coupled, partners with children both have careers.
- 75% of stepfamilies complain of "not having access to resources as a stepfamily." a
- A Boston University psychologist reported that of the career women who had married men with children over 75% said that, "if they had do it again they would NOT marry a man with children."
- 50% of all women, not just mothers, are likely sometime in their life, to live in a stepfamily relationship.