Q: What are your daily and weekly routines/schedules?
A: It’s critical to understand the impact of schedule changes and to outline what you expect of your partner regarding time spent with the children.
Q: How did your actions contribute to your divorce/breakup?
A: Understanding past mistakes increases our chances of success in remarriage.
Q: Tell me about your parents and their roles in the household. How did your parents get along? Who did what in terms of household management? Finances? Housekeeping? How were children treated? How were the children disciplined?
A: The households in which we grew up set the stage for how we expect our current households to work. Understanding the dynamics of your (and your new mate’s) “family of origin” provides insights into each other’s expectations.
Q: What do you expect of my children in terms of household contributions and behavior?
A: Most conflicts in stepfamilies occur because expectations were not discussed or understood ahead of time. Planning and agreeing on household standards before living together greatly decrease stress and chaos.
Q: What would happen if primary custody of the children were to switch?
A: How would your potential mate respond if primary custody were to switch? If you have primary custody now, but it later goes to the other parent, what would this mean for you? A move? A job change? Financial impact? Alternatively, if you do not have primary custody, but were granted it, how would your potential mate respond? How would life change?