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What Happens to the Foster Children When Their Caretaker’s Divorce?

When it comes to divorcing couples, those without children often only care about who gets the assets gained during their marriage, but for divorcing couples with children, their welfare will always come first. It is very much the same with divorcing couples who decided to foster children before the divorce. However, as fosters that are not adopted are not technically the couple’s children in the eyes of the law, what happens to them?

Under fostering rules, the couple needs to report what is considered a significant change in circumstances, and the decision to get divorced is certainly a significant change. As such, it should be reported to the social worker that placed the child and the supervising social worker will need to decide if the placement of the child can continue.

Why are Foster Children Removed During a Divorce?

In most cases, it is extremely likely that the foster child will be removed from the home of a divorcing couple and placed elsewhere. There is no such thing as a simple divorce, and more often than not, it is contentious time for couples. They may be prone to fights and outbursts of negativity that don’t make a home a healthy environment conducive to fostering children. Furthermore, their attention may be diverted from parenting in order to be directed towards their divorce.

The whole idea of foster care is that the child is the primary concern and you give them a stable and structured environment. When that stability is threatened, a social worker may seek to place them in better environment.

How to Keep Foster Children After a Divorce

Divorce doesn’t always mean a foster child will be removed. In truth, it is wholly dependent on the social workers and their report on the home. If one parent of the couple has already moved out of the home, then the general negativity of the divorce may be more limited. If the remaining parent wishes to keep fostering and is still giving the child’s well-being their primary concern, then it may be possible for them to remain in the home.

Furthermore, the remaining foster parent must have the means to still support a foster child and give them a comfortable home. If they are unemployed or may have to otherwise depend on potential spousal support after the divorce, this is not considered a stable home for a foster child. However, if they are employed with ample time to spend with their child or otherwise invest into child care, then that will look a little better to a social worker looking into the issue.

Child Support and Foster Parenting

As the foster child is still not legally the couple’s child, even if adoption has been an interest of the remaining foster parent, they will not be able to seek child support from their spouse in the divorce. Only after adoption has become legally binding will their adopted child be treated the same as a natural born child in a divorce. Similarly, if the social worker has decided that one spouse can still support a foster child, this can be used as proof that the spouse may not need to receive any spousal support during divorce proceedings.

Need Legal Representation?

If you are going through a divorce in the Boca Raton area and are concerned if it will have an effect on your eligibility to continue fostering a child, contact us today. The Law Offices of Ronald M. Zakarin can help go over the finer details of your divorce case, such as foster children, to help keep the transition as smooth as possible and hopefully help your child remain in the home.