Going Through Divorce With Adopted Children

Going Through Divorce With Adopted Children

We all know that when two parents decide to divorce with a divorce lawyer in Fairfax, VA, it can be very difficult on the children. It can be even more emotionally challenging for adopted children. The divorce may trigger feelings they already deal with, due to growing up without a dependable family structure. Adopted children tend to struggle with feeling like they belong, so once their adoptive parents separate, the insecurity about their sense of belonging may amplify. 

Redefining The Concept of Family

Many adopted children have already dealt with substantial trauma in their early years. The lack of consistency and presence of biological parents can lead to emotional challenges, particularly when transitioning into a new home with adoptive parents. Now that there is a divorce, they will need increasing support, as it is likely to feel like just another parental loss. You can help your child by talking with them about what their life will look like, what won’t change, and how often they will get to see both parents. If the children know what they can rely on to stay consistent, it can help their healing and adjustment. 

Focus on What is In the Best Interests of Your Children

Throughout the divorce process, the court will prioritize the children, both adoptive and biological. As divorcing parents, you will have to negotiate over child custody and visitation. If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement, then a family court judge will decide for your instead. If you can remain in the state of mind that you should do what is best for your adopted children, then it can be easier to make decisions during the divorce settlement.

For example, perhaps your current dynamic with your soon-to-be ex spouse is very shaky and resentful. While it can be easy to get caught up in the emotions of this, focus on what will help your adopted children feel a sense of stability. Even if you don’t get along with your spouse currently, you may become more flexibility when scheduling visitation because you know your adopted children will still need to feel connected to the other parent. 

Try Attending Mediation First 

Going to court over your divorce settlement can be taxing emotionally and financially. It can also cause added stress to your adopted children, as they may have to go to court along with you if you aren’t able to find a sitter. To simmer the stress of divorce, you can try attending mediation as a way to negotiate with your spouse.

With mediation, you and your spouse would meet with a neutral moderator, who can help you two achieve a solution regarding child custody, child support, alimony, visitation, and other topics of dispute. A mediator/moderator is not a therapist, so while they certainly understand the complexity of the situation, they aren’t there to act as a counselor. Their goal will be similar to yours, in hopes that you and your spouse can find a resolution as a way to avoid going to court. 

Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into family law and divorce with adopted children.