As if issues involving marriage, children, and divorce aren’t complicated enough, try figuring out what to do if you are navigating a divorce as part of a blended family. Depending on their circumstances and history, some stepparents wish to seek child visitation rights after divorce (or, in rare cases, child custody). Other stepparents are concerned about their financial and emotional obligations to stepchildren after a divorce.
Before you even get to the legal aspect of the process, it is important to evaluate the situation—and your own feelings—in a general manner. Here are ten questions to ask to get started:
- How long have I been involved in my stepchild’s life?
- How much financial support do I give to my stepchild?
- How much emotional support and time do I give to my stepchild?
- What is the depth of the relationship I have with my stepchild?
- Do I wish to continue to support the stepchild emotionally and financially?
- Has the child’s other biological parent given up his or her parental rights, or have they been found unfit to parent?
- Do I wish to seek child visitation rights?
- Do I have the wish or opportunity to seek custody or adopt the child?
- Does the child wish to continue his or her relationship with me?
- What is in the best interest of my stepchild?
Are you getting a divorce and worried about the outcome for your blended family? Are you confused about your rights as a stepparent under Washington State law? Contact a Seattle family law attorney at the Law Office of Molly B. Kenny today to secure legal representation today: 425-460-0550.
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