For parents, getting divorced brings up many stressors and areas of uncertainty. Aside from dealing with legal matters and working through the financial impact of a divorce, child custody and one’s ability to continue a healthy relationship with their child is at stake in some instances. Those who have stepchildren are often especially concerned about how their divorce will impact their relationship with children they love deeply. It is important to do what you can to prepare for your divorce and the way in which it will affect your life, especially if you are a stepparent.
Unfortunately, some stepparents are never able to restore their strong relationship with stepchildren following the end of a marriage. For example, if a biological parent wishes to cut a child’s stepparent out of his or her life, some stepparents are unable to find strong footing from a legal point of view. However, there are legal options to explore and some stepparents are able to secure the ability to visit their stepchildren after the breakdown of a marriage. If possible, working through the divorce process on good terms with one’s ex often helps, and some stepparents can maintain contact with their former spouse’s biological children by approaching their divorce in an amicable manner and communicating with their former partner.
In some cases, stepparents are able to involve a child’s biological grandparents in the discussion, which is often helpful when grandparents recognize the value of the relationship that a stepparent has with their stepchildren. There are other legal issues to consider regarding the end of marriage, custody, visitation and other family law topics. We cover more in our divorce section.