The Intricate Relationship Between Divorce and Adoption in New Jersey
Understand the Complex Intersection of Divorce and Adoption and How It May Impact Parental Rights, Custody, and Child Support Matters in New Jersey
There are many facets of a divorce that can lead to confusion, complication, and stress. When a child is involved in a divorce, however, the stakes are higher and conflict can increase. When the couple’s child is adopted, there can be a number of questions surrounding how that will affect the divorce proceedings and each parent’s relationship with the child moving forward. Because the path to adoption – which included ample time, money, and energy as ongoing paperwork, training, visits, assessments, matching, and legal processes were underway – bound you to your partner and your new child in deep ways, facing losing it all can be harrowing. In such circumstances, it is important to have the professional legal guidance of a child custody attorney. Contact a member of our team at The Bronzino Law Firm today for a free consultation, and read on to learn about how adoption affects divorce in New Jersey.
Rights of a Child’s Biological vs. Adoptive Parents After Adoption in NJ
After adoption, the child’s biological parents lose all legal rights to the child. The adoptive parents assume all legal rights and responsibilities. In most cases, divorce following adoption will not affect the birth parents at all, nor will the birth parents have any say in a divorce. The only possible exemption to this is if the adoptive parents move through the adoption process knowing that they are planning to divorce but not disclosing that information. If the birth parents sought a two-parent home for their child, they can argue that they were not properly informed of the adoptive couple’s intentions and may seek to regain custody of their child.
Potential Outcomes If Adoptive Parents Divorce Before The Adoption is Finalized
If adoptive parents divorce before the adoption is finalized, the judge in the adoption case has a great deal of purview over whether or not to move forward with the adoption proceedings. If the birth family no longer consents to the adoption on the grounds of divorce, the judge may halt adoption proceedings. If the birth couple allows the adoption process to continue, the judge will determine whether it is in the best interests of the child for adoption into a co-parenting arrangement or whether proceedings should be halted. If one or both adoptive parents decide to pull out of adoption proceedings because of divorce, they will be able to do so with no legal repercussions. However, if both decide to move forward despite divorce and all other parties consent, each divorced parent will assume the legal rights and responsibilities of biological parents in all future happenings.
Is it Relevant to the Court if Children Are Biological or Adopted in Divorce Cases?
If a divorcing couple has an adopted child, this child will be treated as a biological child in the eyes of New Jersey law. The same standards will apply to all areas of custody, parenting time, and child support that are arranged in the divorce and custody hearing. The child’s best interest will be held as the central focus for the judge.
Resolving Custody Disputes Involving Adopted Children in NJ
Child custody is handled in the same way for adopted children as for biological children. The couple will come to a fair agreement over custody and parenting time arrangements, or the court will decide for them if they cannot come to an agreement. Regardless of whether that child is biological or adopted, the child’s best interest is the most important factor in determining custody arrangements. Each parent has the legal responsibility for an adopted child in divorce as they would for a biological child.
Dealing with Divorce-Related Child Support Matters for Adopted Children
Adopted children receive the same rights as biological children, and their custodial parent also receives the same rights. As such, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay child support.
Talk to Our Divorce Lawyers if You Have Questions about Divorcing After Adopting in Middletown, New Jersey
Going through any divorce is not easy, but when additional legal hurdles such as a semi-processed or just-finalized adoption are also in the works, stress and confusion can become overwhelming. At this emotional time, it is important that you have experienced, grounded, and clear-sighted legal divorce and custody counsel on your side.
Our team at The Bronzino Law Firm is experienced in successfully helping divorcing clients with adopted children to navigate the legal system and move together into the next chapter of their lives in Point Pleasant, Colts Neck, Tinton Falls, Eatontown, Mantoloking, Toms River, and Ocean and Monmouth County communities. During this time, we provide the legal guidance and perspective you need to make sure that all areas of your split and future decades with your child are addressed in the settlement so you can focus on supporting your child through the emotional transition. Contact us today at (732) 812-3102 for a free and confidential consultation.