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Divorcing after Adopting as a Step-parent

Divorce is always challenging, and for families with kids – whether they are biological or adopted – the process can get even more difficult as they must parse out time-sharing, parenting plans, and child support for their kids, in addition to untangling their own lives, assets, and debts.

Step-parent adoption followed by divorce

Blended families who have chosen to adopt their step-children while they were married are granted the same legal rights as if they were the biological parent. It doesn’t matter if the step-parent adoption occurred two years, two months, or two days prior to filing for divorce.

If the court approved the step-parent adoption, then the step-parent is also a legal parent of the child. That means they are entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as the biological parent in terms of time-sharing and decision-making. They are also fully committed to providing social, emotional, physical, and financial support before and after the divorce.

What to know when divorcing in Florida

Step-parents maintain strong emotional bonds with their step-children, and through adoption, those emotional bonds become further solidified and signal a life-long commitment to caring for the children, even in the event of a divorce.

In Florida divorces, adoptive parents are treated exactly as if they were a biological parent, and the courts will make their determinations regarding time-sharing and parenting plans based on the best interests of the child – not based on who shares the same DNA.

If you are an adoptive parent going through divorce or have questions about adopting your step-children, be sure to read more about what to know when adopting as a step-parent and also get in touch with us at the Vasquez de Lara Law Group. We can help you understand the legal process of step-parent adoptions in Florida and answer questions about your family’s specific situation.


Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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