According to the Pew Research Center, more than 40% of US adults have at least one step relative, specifically a child, sibling, or parent. With that many step-relatives, there are millions of children learning to live with a step-parent. These new parents by law often build strong emotional bonds with their new family members that have a lasting impact on the children. Especially for very young children, these new connections often become supports that extend into adulthood.
Unfortunately, marriages that bring children from previous unions do not always last. According to one study, 41% of first marriages end in divorce while 70% of second marriages with each party bringing children from a previous marriage. Yet divorce does not need to be the last time these children see their step-parent.
Does Divorce Mean Goodbye to Stepchildren?
No, a divorce does not need to end the visitation for a stepparent with their children by law. That said because the children are not biologically, and soon legally, part of the child or children’s life/lives, there are additional measures necessary.
Serving the Best Interests of the Children
Most legal disputes about the legal custody of children come down to what the court establishes are the best interests of the child. Most people who choose divorce do so because they can no longer be with each other. Even though the parents can no longer be together, the children may still want to interact with both parties.
Often, the children had known the stepparent for several years. Ending such a relationship abruptly is detrimental to many children’s development. Negotiating this compromise with the biological parent of the children will help make the process more painless and possible.
No matter the extent of your family members, divorce can be a complicated situation to navigate. FasTrack Divorce can help you end your marriage with finality and respect on your terms. Our legal team has experience working with families with many unique situations. Contact our team today to get more information.