Blended Families

Starting your new life together

Congratulations on finding love! It can be difficult to translate the joy you feel in your relationship to children facing a new life as a stepchild or new sibling. They may have concerns about their relationship with your partner or how the changes might impact their relationship with you. 


There will likely be growing pains as everyone settles into new roles, but you can find success as a blended family with open communication, respect, and love. Our team of experienced family law and estate planning attorneys can help you understand your rights and obligations. 


Estate Planning


Whether your blended family includes minor or adult children, it is important to consider creating or revising an estate plan to preserve and protect your wishes. You may have assets you want to retain as separate property to pass to your direct heirs or a desire to take care of your stepchildren through a will or trust. Our estate planning attorneys have rich experience helping blended families create comprehensive plans to give your family peace of mind and a clear path forward.

Blended Families



A new partner might mean new opportunities and a need to consider relocation. A well-constructed parenting plan should outline what opportunities exist for you to move. However, there may be cause for a change to your current residential schedule. One of our parenting plan attorneys can help you understand the options you have for modification. 


Parent Communication & Parenting Plans


Sometimes when a new partner is welcomed into the family, hiccups can come up concerning co-parenting or following an agreed-upon or court-ordered parenting plan. Our family law attorneys understand the dynamics that can arise with a new stepparent. We can help your family navigate your legal challenges to reduce conflict and create a child-focused arrangement. 


Structuring a strong stepfamily should begin with clear communication. Our attorneys have the education and experience to help your family prevent communication challenges before they arise and navigate them when they do.

Blended Families


Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.
ebl home subscribe image


Blog Posts

One of the greatest gifts you can give your family is to build an estate plan while you are alive and well. Estate planning allows you to formally communicate your wishes so they will not be up for interpretation by…

A co-executor can help facilitate the distribution of assets, minimize conflicts, and provide much-needed support to grieving families.

The law makes it easy for people to get out of bad marriages. Washington, like most states, acknowledges no-fault divorce. This means that if you want a court to dissolve your marriage, all you have to do is file for…

Washington state’s laws on non-marital relationships, including committed intimate relationships (CIRs), can be convoluted, especially in the absence of a cohabitation agreement. Given the ambiguity that exists for unmarried partners in Washington state, thinking about the future and what it could look like is more important than ever. This is especially true in terms of aging, incapacity, and death. Fortunately, you can address each of these issues in a comprehensive estate plan.

Family law and estate planning often intersect. This is particularly true when contemplating divorce, remarriage, or blending families.

At some point during your divorce case, friends and family members whose own marriages ended in divorce probably told you that it gets better, and it does. Of course, from your perspective, getting out of a bad marriage might be…

Co-parenting over a long distance when you are a non-residential parent does not have to equate to sacrificing involvement in your children’s lives. But it likely does mean you will have to make tweaks in your communication and parenting style to accommodate the new living arrangement.

If you have a significant amount of money saved, you might be considering giving some of it away while you are still alive via what is known in estate planning jargon as a living inheritance. Depending on your desires, you can give your beneficiaries a portion of or all of the inheritance you intend to give them.

Estate planning is commonly associated with preparing for asset distribution and financial management in the event of the estate plan owner’s incapacitation or death. However, an estate plan can protect more than just people and what they have worked so hard during their lifetimes to build. A carefully crafted Washington state estate plan can also protect pets.

If you live in Washington State and have an estranged family member, are you worried about them contesting your will after you die? Well, don’t worry quite yet. There are a variety of criteria an individual must meet to contest a will in the state of Washington.

Depending on your situation, there might also be measures you can take as you revisit your existing estate plan or create a new one to cause them to think twice about doing so. Here is what you need to know about whether an estranged family member can contest a will in Washington state.

When parents go through a divorce, child custody can be one of the hardest issues to deal with. But increasingly in American households, pets are part of the family, and separating can create similar concerns over who gets the family pet.

As a Seattle entrepreneur, you’ve undoubtedly dedicated countless hours and resources to building a successful business. You’ve dotted all of your I’s and crossed all of your T’s. But have you considered what will happen to your business after you're…

In today’s world of fast-paced decision-making and on-demand solutions, such as DIY divorces, it is not surprising that many couples contemplate divorce the moment they find themselves unhappily married. Our culture’s fickle mentality often seems to advocate for the idea…

In the wake of divorce or separation, co-parenting can feel stressful. Not only have you just gone through an emotional experience, but you are also now trying to figure out how both you and your co-parent can spend time with…

Far too many families end up fighting, or at least experiencing tension, over a family inheritance, but it does not have to be that way. Having counseled families for years, we offer the following advice to help your family avoid fighting over your property — while you are here and after you die.