Can Divorce Provide Options Other Than the Traditional Nuclear Family?
As divorce continues to be a likely outcome for many marriages, families across the state and nation alike face the possibility of a nontraditional homelife situation. In recent years, some people have argued that the nuclear family may be the source of many societal ills, from economic inequality to racial injustice. Because of this, people have started to wonder whether the traditional nuclear family of a mom, a dad, and one or more children is truly quintessential to a child’s positive upbringing. The truth is, there are alternatives to the nuclear family, some of which might be even more beneficial to your family following a divorce.
3 Beneficial Alternatives to the Nuclear Family
As nuclear families become less and less common, it might be worth considering alternatives to that particular family model. Examples of strong options that may be available after a couple has divorced include:
Extended Families—A family does not have to only be a mother, a father, and their children; it can also include grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, other extended blood relatives, etc. This type of arrangement can be beneficial for divorced parents, allowing them and their children to remain close to other family members. It may also help resolve income inequality issues by ensuring that parents have access to high-quality childcare from familiar faces like grandparents or aunts and uncles. This could give many children benefits that they might not otherwise have.
Mixed/Blended Families—In 1960, 73% of all families were traditional nuclear families, but currently, less than half of all marriages are traditional in that sense. Many other families are blended or mixed in some way, meaning not everyone is related by blood. For instance, if a couple divorces after having children together, and they both remarry, their children will have the opportunity to build new relationships with stepparents and maybe even stepsiblings. This introduces elements of diversity into family life that could greatly benefit children.
Diverse Parenting Arrangements—In some cases, single parents may enlist the assistance of other friends and family in raising their children, grandparents may take custody of grandchildren, unmarried couples may choose to cohabitate without getting married, or married couples may be legally separated while maintaining active parenting roles. All of these nontraditional family models can give children an opportunity to learn to adapt to new situations and transition to new living arrangements. This can provide them with critical survival and coping skills that they will be able to use in their adult lives.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Family Law Attorney
American culture is changing, and expectations regarding family life are shifting away from nuclear families being the ultimate goal. Families can comprise a wide variety of people and living situations, and this can work to the benefit of many children. If you are considering divorce, a cohabitation agreement, modifications of child custody orders, or any other family law issues, contact a DuPage County divorce lawyer at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation. Andrew Cores Law Group will give you all the details you need to take the appropriate next steps in your family life.