When you and your spouse made the commitment to be adoptive parents, you completed this milestone as a strong unit with the ability to raise this child as your own. However, months or years down the line, you and your spouse find yourselves at the doorstep of divorce and wondering, “what now?”
As painful as divorce is, the decision does not make you failed parents nor does it lessen the bond you’ve forged with your child. If you are in the midst of a divorce and have questions about your situation, here are some of the top things to remember as adoptive parents.
Know Your Legal Rights As Adoptive Parents
Regardless of whether your adoption was a traditional adoption by both parents or step-parent adoption, Texas law will apply these same custody standards as they would in any other custody case.
Either the biological parent or the adoptive step parent could be awarded custody as the only determining factor is what the Court determines to be in the best interest of the child. Likewise, a step-parent who adopts a child can be subject to the same child support duties as the biological parent would.
Embrace Being a Co-Parent
Remember, divorce doesn’t necessarily mean the end of working together to raise your child. No matter what, your children should always come first. If you and your ex-spouse are comfortable with the thought of co-parenting, embrace the role and make the experience worthwhile for your child.
If there are lingering feelings of disdain towards your ex, don’t let it get in the way of a co-parenting plan. Talk with your divorce lawyer about counseling or mediation opportunities available in your area.
Stay on a Reliable Transitioning Schedule
When it comes to children, the act of moving from house to house between parents can create a stressful situation. This is especially true if your adopted child has had previous experiences moving from home to home prior to adoption.
When you opt to share custody and create a schedule, make sure it’s as clear as you can make it. Some things you can do to make transitions less stressful include:
- Discussing what you plan to do while the child is with you;
- Informing your child of any potential house guests during their stay;
- Adhering to scheduled times and visits (the less confusion, the better).
Remember to Put Your Child’s Needs First
This may seem obvious, but your child’s emotional and physical needs always come first, even after a painful divorce. Adopted children often blame themselves for not having a biological parent in their lives.
Reassurance, patience, and love will help you and your ex-spouse navigate your child through this emotional stage in your life.
If possible, sit down as a family and discuss your divorce. Make sure they understand that they are not being deserted or that the decision is because of anything they’ve done.
Manage Your Divorce Professionally With Marx, Altman & Johnson
Making sure the divorce process runs smoothly for your family is our priority. At Marx. Altman & Johnson, we have an experienced team of family law attorneys who can assist with any issue or legality that arises during your divorce.
If you are planning a divorce and need the advice of a trusted Dallas divorce lawyer, contact us to schedule your consultation.