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Adopted Children and Divorce

It is important for parents of adopted children to understand that the family legal system treats adopted children just as it treats biological children in the event that parents divorce. If a child has been adopted by both parents, each parent will be treated by the system just as they would if that child was biologically connected.

So, how does family law court treat biological and adopted children in the event of parental divorce? The answer to that question depends on a few factors. There is a near-universal standard upon which family law judges must base child custody determinations. And when appropriate, child support obligations will be ordered to ensure that an affected child is granted adequate support from both parents. But because every family’s situation is unique, it is difficult to determine exactly how a child will be affected by the legal process of divorce until unique family circumstances are explored with an attorney.

Child Custody Arrangements

When parents cannot agree on their child custody arrangements without the aid of a judge, those arrangements will be made according to the “best interests of the child” standard. This is a subjective standard and a judge may be influenced by subconscious biases. As a result, it is generally ideal for parents to sort the terms of their child’s custody arrangement out with the aid of their attorneys and perhaps a mediator. When parents cannot agree on the fundamental elements of custody without the aid of a judge, their child’s living situation will be constructed by the court.

Some jurisdictions also employ additional guidelines related to the construction of child custody orders. For example, some jurisdictions favor joint legal and physical custody arrangements as the default unless compelling reasons exist why one parent should have either primary or sole custody. It is important to discuss any legal factors that may be in play in your jurisdiction that are not as universal as the best interests of the child standard.

Child Support Obligations

Depending on your family’s financial situation and your child’s unique needs, either you or your spouse may be compelled to pay child support. Payment amounts, frequency, and duration will depend on a host of factors including your family’s unique circumstances and state child support guidelines. Most of the time, the parent who does not live with their child for 51 percent of the year or more tends to pay child support, but this is not always the case.

Legal Counsel Is Available

If you have questions about your child custody situation, child support obligations or divorce in general, please consider contacting an experienced family lawyer in Rockville, MD. Lawyers who specialize in these matters will be best positioned to advise you of your legal options after learning more about your family’s unique circumstances. Navigating the divorce process can be a uniquely stressful challenge. But you do not need to grapple with the legal side of this process alone.

Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and adopted children and in child custody battles.