One must remember that playing a role does not mean starring the show! As step-parents, it’s hard to know when to be involved and when to step aside. If it’s causing more damage than good, if it’s too painful or even too confrontational, step aside mama or papa bear!
We live in a world where the term ‘step-parent’ does not mean ‘parent’ in the court of law or even in most therapist offices. It’s important to know that your role is very much a huge part of the parenting equation, and that you are valuable beyond words. However when it comes to family law and child custody cases, the biggest role you can play is that of a support system for you and yours.
Being a supportive step-parent or spouse does not require you to be a part of the legality of what is going on around you. Our current legal system does not support the idea that a step-parent is indeed a parent involved. What can happen to you is far more scary than one may imagine. You can become a targeted victim of abuse from the other parent involved, used to manipulate your spouse emotionally and legally. Stay out, I repeat, stay out of the child custody battle. Remain a support for you and yours. When needed, allow yourself to be the cushion for those you love, but maintain your distance from ongoing legal battles.
As much as you love and care for your significant other and your step-child, there is no better place for you to be than healthy and out of the line of fire.
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