Adopted Children Might Need Extra Support During a Florida Divorce
Planning for a family might include adopting children if biological children are not possible. No matter how many children or where they come from, your plans for the perfect family fall apart when a divorce is looming.
In that case, treating adopted children like biological children is essential. They are likely sensitive to the fact they are adopted and may feel different from biological children in the family when you announce that you plan to divorce. You will not want to do anything that might make them feel estranged or unwanted.
Some adopted children experienced trauma and a lack of stability during their early years. Divorcing parents can unleash those memories and recreate trauma in the adopted child.
If a child was older when they were adopted or spent some time in foster care or a group home, they might have experienced some degree of abandonment. The child might benefit from additional counseling to help ease this transition.
Each parent needs to let the adopted and biological children know they are there for them, even though the couple will no longer be married. In other words, the parent is not divorcing the child, just the spouse.
Florida Divorce Basics
Like any Florida divorce, you must come up with a child custody agreement which should include:
- Where the child lives
- What percentage of time does each parent have
- Who makes primary decisions about education, extracurricular activities, and medical care
- How to divide the cost of caring for the child and their activities
If you and your soon-to-be-ex disagree on the above, the court may have to step in and decide for the family. In this case, both spouses will likely be unhappy with any imposed arrangement.
That’s why it is always best to put your disagreement aside and come up with some form of a parenting plan, even if it means you do not get everything you want.
Family law attorney Crystal Collins Spencer will suggest you enter into mediation to finalize the terms of any custody agreement. You both have the best understanding of what is best for your family dynamics.
Encourage your adopted child to share whatever they feel about the divorce. Because they entered the family differently from the biological child, they may be reserved about sharing. It’s encouraged that you be extra sensitive to their feelings.
Stability and Structure are Important for Adopted Children
Attorney Crystal Collins Spencer reminds you that both parents need to be in sync about structure and rules during this stressful time.
Let the adopted child know how much you love them and that a change in living arrangements does not mean that the established rules will change. Both parents should agree that the expectations they set as a couple will continue even as the living arrangement does not.
Structure in the home is often very good for children with an unstable past, so let the child know what you expect so nothing is left to chance.
No matter what the former couple does not agree on, maintaining a similar routine in both homes will make the divorce less traumatic for all children.
Your Florida Family Lawyer
Parents who stay involved in their children’s lives, whether adopted or biological, ultimately work in the child’s best interest.
If you have questions about your impending divorce and do not want to have regrets, Crystal Collins Spencer can help you with your questions, just as she has helped thousands of divorcing couples in her decades of experience as a family law specialist.
Call the Spencer Law Group in Pensacola at (850) 795-4910 to discuss your family’s workable parenting plan and ensure you have the assets you will need in the future.
If it is impossible to make a parenting plan with your ex, Ms. Spencer has the expertise to establish that the children have the advantages they deserve, even if each parent cannot or should not be present.
Each parent still has the legal duty to care for the child, no matter their marital status. Let us be your ally during this difficult time to make sure the decisions ahead take everyone’s welfare into account.