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When couples divorce, custody and support of the children have a significant impact on each party. A parent’s concern does not change whether the children are biological or adopted.

Florida courts do not differentiate between biological and adopted children during divorce. The law holds parents to the same legal obligations of financial support and time-sharing.

How is child custody handled with adopted children?

Divorcing couples have equal obligations to both their adopted and biological children. Divorce proceedings should address the following issues for all children:

  • Determining custody and shared parenting schedules
  • Calculating child support payments
  • Addressing questions regarding who has legal guardianship
  • Determining who pays for the children’s medical insurance
  • Planning for educational expenses
  • Discussing who pays for extracurricular activities

The courts determine these arrangements in the children’s best interest, regardless of whether the adoption occurred days or years ago.

What happens with adopted step-children in a divorce?

Once an adoption is final, the children legally belong to their guardians. The same is true in situations where a step-parent adopts a new spouse’s children. If the parent and step-parent divorce, the step-parent has equal rights to custody as the biological parent.

The courts also hold step-parents to the same financial support and time-sharing requirements. The courts calculate these obligations the same way for all of the couple’s children.

The dissolution of a family is challenging for both parents and children. Knowing that both adopted and biological children are equal when determining parental rights after divorce allows both parents to have a long-term relationship with their children.