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Spending Time with Kids Who Were Not Legally Adopted


Often divorces are not just about separating spouses, ending a marital union often involves untangling complex familial relationships. Florida families come in all shapes and sizes, and a divorcing spouse may find themselves navigating the delicate terrain of maintaining relationships with children who they are not biologically related to and who they did not legally adopt. This scenario can be emotionally fraught, but there are steps you can take to continue fostering bonds, regardless of legal ties.

The reality is, despite the absence of formal adoption, many find that they have formed a significant bond with their spouse’s children during the course of a marriage. If this is a situation you find yourself in, you may want to explore ways to maintain contact with the kids you have grown close to over time. Share the specifics of your situation with an Orlando family lawyer.

Drafting a Parenting Plan

One avenue that you could pursue is establishing a parenting plan. While parenting plans are typically associated with legal custody arrangements, they can also outline visitation schedules and guidelines for spending time with the children. Even if you do not have legal rights to the children, a well-crafted parenting plan can formalize your visitation schedule and help ensure continued contact.

Of course, the best interests of the children need to be top of mind when developing a vision schedule. This means considering their emotional well-being and stability above all else. Collaborating with your soon-to-be-ex spouse and possibly involving a mediator or family counselor can facilitate productive discussions regarding visitation arrangements.

Florida courts recognize the importance of maintaining meaningful relationships between children and non-biological parents or parental figures, and support resources, including attorneys, can talk to you about ways to connect with your desired outcome.

Preserving Relationships

To be sure you are taking the right steps to secure the outcome you are hoping for, consult with a knowledgeable family lawyer who can assess the specifics of your situation and advocate for your rights. While the legal landscape may be unclear to you, there may be a path available for maintaining a relationship with children, even after divorce.

Regardless of the legal intricacies, preserving relationships relies on effective communication. This means that the parents and parental figures are able to communicate about creating a parenting plan. Also, the children need clarity about what to expect as their family structure changes. Open and honest dialogue with both your spouse and the children can help alleviate anxieties and uncertainties surrounding the future.

Have a conversation with an Orlando family lawyer to access legal guidance. Divorcing couples in Florida who have developed close bonds with their spouse’s children, whether legally adopted or not, may face unique challenges, but with careful consideration and cooperation, it is possible to navigate these challenges and continue relationships.

Are you hoping to continue to have a relationship with your spouse’s kids? Approaching the situation with empathy and understanding is key, the family law attorneys at Donna Hung Law can help. Call 407-999-0099 or contact us to book your confidential consultation.