Divorce is not easy for anyone to go through. However, the situation can be incredibly complicated when there are children under the age of 18 involved. If a divorce occurs after the adoption of a child, you may wonder if there are any special legal requirements or restrictions regarding parental rights.
Divorce after traditional adoption
It is important to understand that adoption transfers parental rights from biological parents to adoptive ones in the state of South Carolina. With that being the case, adopted children will be treated the exact same way that biological children are treated during the course of a divorce. There are various aspects of a divorce that pertain to children under the age of 18. Issues that will need to be settled include:
- Child custody. This involves both physical custody (where a child will live) as well as legal custody (which parent(s) get to make medical, education, religious, and other legal decisions for the child).
- Visitation. A non-custodial parent will generally have visitation rights, and a visitation schedule needs to be finalized.
- Child support. Both parents have a legal obligation to continue to support their adopted child based on a child support calculator established by the state.
Divorce after adopting a stepchild
In South Carolina, adopting a stepchild means that the adoptive parent takes on full parental rights. In the event a divorce occurs, the stepparent has all of the obligations a biological parent would have in a divorce, including the factors listed above.
When a stepchild is adopted in South Carolina, the non-custodial parent terminated their rights. That non-custodial parent does not regain their rights if you divorce the child’s other biological parent. Put simply, stepparents who have formally adopted a child are considered legal parents under the eyes of the law.
Both parents should remain involved
Adoption is a serious issue, and a divorce can leave all parties involved with a lot questions. If you have adopted a child and are now going through a divorce, let the Elliott Frazier Law Firm help. You can contact our Greenville divorce attorney for a consultation today so we can plan your next steps forward together.