Published: 31 July 2017
Author: Stringer Clark

Celebrating step parents

Today marks National Step Family Awareness Day, and while this may go unnoticed by many Australians, the reality is that at Stringer Clark, as family lawyers we meet and assist all types of families on a daily basis.

According to the 2011 census, there were 5,584,000 families in Australia.

  • The breakdown of families with children aged 0-17 years is as follows:
  • the majority of families with children under 18 years of age in 2012-13 were 'intact' families (73.5%)
  • step and blended families accounted for less than 6.5% of all families
  • almost one in five families were headed by a single parent (19.3%).

After 50, Australians who are separated or divorced reaches its peak as nearly one in four women at age 53 and one in five men at age 56, census figures show.

Recent trends in family law

Meanwhile, as a practising lawyer, the trends we are seeing include:

  • increased homosexual and transgender cases
  • More cases related to substance abuse, particularly the usage of ice
  • Less parents seeking 50/50% custody
  • Increased cases involving domestic violence.

Celebrating all parents

Most parents will tell you that the birth of their children has been the most rewarding and the most challenging part of their lives.

Parenting doesn’t require a licence and good parenting is certainly not for the faint hearted.

So, today we commend all types of parents - and especially those step parents who have often ridden an emotional roller coaster before finding their way and developing strong family bonds.

According to Relationships Australia, more than half of parents who separate, re-partner. Yet the dynamics and the complexity of the new family relationships mean stepfamilies are continually at risk of conflict and are at a much higher risk of separation than biological families. 

Finding the right balance

Nobody enters marriage or parenting planning to separate. However, the reality is that circumstances and people do change over the course of time.

At Stringer Clark, we always encourage our clients to try and settle out of court and to find a mutual agreement with the ex partner and we work towards this with our clients. For any initial enquiries related to family law please call Stringer Clark on 1800 641 743 for a no obligation initial consultation.

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