‘Patchwork families’ are families made up of parents and children, whereby one – or both – of the parents has brought in a child from a former relationship. Sometimes these parents also have joint children.
Almost 10% of all families are patchwork families. And this is only expected to increase. The relations within such a family are often complex. The children have to get used to the new family and the step-parent and – vice versa – the step-parent has to build a relationship with the step-children.
Some families are together full-time, others part-time, half-time or during the weekends – sometimes in combination with shared parenting. To some, these new families feel like an enrichment, but there are also plenty of cases in which the newcomers are seen as interlopers or in which conflicts of loyalty arise. Whatever the case may be, it is always good to look into the legal consequences of the new situation and to put things on paper.