Beyond Divorce: Research on Children in Repartnered and Remarried Families


  • Edward R. Anderson,

  • Shannon M. Greene



Research on divorce, repartnering, and remarriage has grown extensively over the last 50 years. Yet repartnering and remarriage have not received much attention in Family Court Review. This article seeks to highlight some of the findings from the broader psychological literature on children's adaptation to repartnering and remarriage. Across a wide range of studies, children in repartnered and remarried families are at elevated risk for a broad range of social, psychological, and academic difficulties. We investigate how researchers study these questions from a methodological perspective and discuss how decisions concerning methodology shape the questions and answers from research. Next, we review research that seeks to understand why children in repartnered families are at elevated risk for maladjustment. Finally, we outline a series of recommendations for future research.

    Key Points for the Family Court Community

  • Repartnering and remarriage present additional challenges for divorced families and professionals who work with them.
  • Repartnering and remarriage may alter existing dynamics in co-parental relationships and can involve renegotiation of existing custodial and visitation arrangements.
  • Remarriage, like divorce, is not a single event but part of an extended series of events and transitions that take place prior to the occurrence of remarriage.