The initial stages of any cohabitation agreement can be stressful, even more so when you also have the feelings of your children to consider. You may find yourself constantly asking whether you’re doing the right thing, or whether or not the concept of moving in with your other half is just too much for your kids. Well, this is exactly why we have compiled this handy guide that details how you can successfully cohabit with both your partner and children. Read on!
Consolidate with your partner
Before signing that lease and opening the door to your new home, make sure that you had the chance to talk to your partner about cohabitating with children. As scary as this conversation may seem, it’s just something that the pair of you will have to do. Don’t be afraid to discuss the long-term future of your relationship, as well as any reservations that either of you has about the cohabitation process (especially with regards to your kids being involved). Clearing these things up from the get-go will make you guys more ready to move in with your children, as well as ensure a happy and healthy domestic relationship for the two of you.
Talk to your children
Likewise, it’s so important to ask for your child’s input about the cohabitation process. However, do not simply just ask for their permission to cohabitate, as this will simply place too much pressure on their hands. Instead, ask your children about how they feel about your partner, and whether they feel that they are ready to move into this new house with your other half in the picture as well. Whatever they may say, it’s important to reassure your children that they are always going to be a priority.
Have a trial run
Before you move in, it may be a good idea to have a trial run of living together. This doesn’t have to be for a long time, it could be just for a weekend. This trial run will give your kids a chance to get to know your partner a bit better, as well as getting them acquainted with the reality of seeing your other half regularly. More importantly, taking an initiative like this will make your kids (and yourselves) comfortable and ready to start the actual cohabitation process.
Even if you have done all of the above, it’s important to remind yourself that the actual moving process can be unpredictable. For instance, regardless of whether your kids get along with your other half, the cohabitation process may still come as a bit of a shock to them. So, don’t be surprised if they throw a few tantrums here and there. Instead, just be patient with your little ones and let them know that you understand how they’re feeling. A great way to relieve your child’s frustrations about the move is to give them control. On this note, why not get them to help you with picking out your new home, or give them all the freedom to decorate their new room how they please?
Check up on each other
When you cohabit with your kids, it can be easy to focus all your energy on their feelings and not devote much attention to your relationship with your partner. So, whether you’re at the dinner table or in bed when the kids have gone to sleep, check up with each other. Ask them how their day was, as well as how they’re adjusting to the cohabitation process. As well as this, if your kids are acting up, perhaps discuss parenting strategies to handle conflicts? Communicating with each other and working together like this would only make the pair of you stronger as a couple.
And there you have it! Your guide on how you and your partner can successfully cohabit when there are children in the picture. We believe that taking these steps would minimise any stress and conflict that would come with such a move. However, if any serious disputes need addressing, particularly from a legal point of view, cohabitation solicitors are always here to help.