What Adoptive Parents Must Consider Before Divorce

May 10, 2023
By Alternative Divorce Solutions

Adoption allows couples to build a family connection with a child who isn’t biologically their own. And, as any parent will tell you, the bond between parent and child is like no other. This can make divorce with children particularly difficult, whether biological or adoptive in nature

The good news: Adopted families follow the same protocols when it comes to establishing physical and legal custody in a divorce. This means that all aspects of the child’s wellbeing will be covered during the divorce process, including establishing custody, visitation, child support, and more. However, one unique aspect for adoptive parents comes in the form of additional payments they receive for having an adopted child.

In this blog, we will examine a few of the similarities and differences adoptive parents can expect when divorcing.  


  • Custody — just like biological parents, adoptive parents will have to determine how physical and legal custody of their child will be split in a divorce. In most cases, the child is given the choice, should the decision arise. It should be noted that if the adopted child is too young to voice an opinion and the parents disagree, a custody battle could take place. This is why it’s beneficial to talk about these types of decisions ahead of time and include them in a parenting plan.
  • Visitation – once legal and physical custody are decided, you’ll need to agree on visitation terms. This means that if one parent holds full physical custody, the other parent will be subject to visitation times based on a pre-determined schedule. For instance, the non-custodial parent may be awarded visitation once a month or every other weekend.
  • Expenses – adoptive parents must also determine how common expenses will be paid for their child. This includes everything from necessities like meals to more significant payments like tuition and school supplies. This is something that should be talked about ahead of time and included in a parenting plan. It should be noted that this is generally a give-and-take, especially when it comes to something more substantial like tuition. Both parents usually pay half, but in some cases one parent could pay for larger expenses while the other parent pays for smaller day-to-day charges.


  • Additional payments – the main difference when it comes to adoptive parents getting a divorce is the possibility of receiving additional money for their adopted child. This money is owed to the child until they turn 18, so figuring out how it will be distributed is usually an obstacle. Some cases view this as child support, while other cases view this as a separate payment on top of child support. This additional payment for adoptive parents tends to create issues where parents have joint custody. This is because if the child goes back and forth, it’s hard to dictate which parent should receive the additional support payments.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Going through divorce as adopted parents can be very difficult, especially since both parents feel a strong connection to their child. That’s why it’s important to find legal assistance that can help you prepare for any divorce case. At Alternative Divorce Solutions, our team is committed to guiding parents towards results that keep all family members connected.

Our legal professionals offer a mediation process where both parents can discuss the aspects and possible results of the divorce all while having legal help present. To learn more about Alternative Divorce Solutions, contact us today!

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