When divorce occurs in a stepfamily

Posted by Lauren S. CohenAug 18, 20150 Comments

Any divorce involving a family with children can have many complexities. However, certain things can potentially add even further to the complicated nature of such divorces. One is if the family in question is a stepfamily. 

For one, stepfamily divorces can have many unique emotional concerns attached to them, both for stepparents and stepchildren.

For example, a stepchild may, when their birth parent and stepparent get divorced, be confused about what the divorce means for their relationship with their stepparent and be unsure as to whether they will continue to have a family-like relationship with their stepparent following the divorce.

Sometimes, after a divorce in a stepfamily, the stepchildren and the stepparent keep close ties, while other times they do not. A recent study found that one of the things that can play a big role in which of these outcomes occurs following a stepfamily divorce is how supportive/encouraging a stepchild's birth parent is of efforts to keep strong ties with the stepparent. 

This illustrates an important point regarding stepfamily divorces, and that is that how the parents act during the course of the divorce and following the divorce can affect the kids in some pretty big ways. This is something it can be very important for parents to stay aware of when in a stepfamily divorce. 

Stepfamily divorces can also have many complicated legal aspects. For example, what particular sorts of child custody and child support issues arise in connection to such a divorce can be impacted by a wide range of things, including whether or not the stepparent has legally adopted the stepchildren. Attorneys can help parents in stepfamily divorces with addressing the unique issues in their divorce. 

Source: Medical Daily, “Maintaining Family Ties After Divorce: Stepkids Follow Parents' Lead When Second Marriages Break Up,” Susan Scutti, August 12, 2015