Since 2009, parents that divorce have been obliged to draw up a parenting plan. In this plan, agreements are made about the upbringing and care of the children. Such a plan can also be wise if you start (or have) a relationship with someone who already has children.

Often the relationships in a new family are complicated and different loyalties play a role. This can result in tensions, but also practical problems such as:

– How do we educate the children?
– Who corrects the children and how?
– How do we celebrate the birthdays?
– How do we deal with the ex-partner (s)?

When two families are merged, it is important that you try to take into account each other’s wishes and expectations, including those of the children. The questions you need to ask each other in a new family – and which are essential to be a successful step-family – are not always obvious.

The step-parent plan helps to formulate a common goal. You can fill in what support you expect from your partner (practical and emotional) and what you find important in the upbringing, how you want things to be handled, and what role the ex-partner and ex-in-laws play.

You may hear surprising things from your partner, or things you did not know yourself that you actually find very important. Take the time to jointly discuss and complete the step-parent plan – also with the children; it increases the chance that your new family will succeed.

Can you use my help in drawing up a step-parent plan? Feel free to contact me via +31 6 80 10 10 14 or send an email to