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Divorce and Family Law
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Can I continue to parent my stepchildren after divorce?

One of the hardest parts of a divorce is making sure that the children in the family can move forward positively and maintain their relationship with their parental figures. If you are a stepparent, you likely have a strong bond with your stepchildren, and you will, therefore, be worried about losing that connection.

If you have not legally adopted your stepchild, you will not be considered to be their parent under the law. However, the child custody courts make custody decisions not only on legal parental figures but on what circumstances are in the best interests of the child. The following are some things you should know if you want to gain visitation rights with your stepchildren after divorce.

What factors will child custody courts take into account?

The child custody courts will assess a wide range of factors to try to gain the full picture. They will consider the age of the child, as well as how long you have been in the child's life. They may also consider the strength of the child's relationship with other parental figures.

How can I support my stepchild through this difficult transition?

It's important to continuously reflect on how to make the process easier for your stepchild. You should not pressure them to state their preferences, but instead, provide a loving and supportive environment in which they can raise their fears and concerns.

The thought of parting with your stepchildren can be a daunting prospect. But if you take early action and are proactive in your approach to child custody, you will increase your chances of being successful.

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