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You And Your Family
Trusted Advice For
You And Your Family

How to handle step-father relationships during divorce

Divorce is hard for children. However, most cases involve biological kids meaning the law is very clear on the rights of parents, custody, support, and visitation. In cases where kids do not have a blood relationship with the other parent, the law becomes complicated in solving such cases.

According to a study in Annual Reviews of Psychology, children develop a strong relationship with parent figures even if they are not biologically related. The attachment depends on the parent’s involvement in a child’s life, the length of the relationship and the age of the child. Other factors that are likely to affect the child’s feelings include:

  • The amount of caregiving and the role of the parent in the kid’s life
  • How the biological parent feels about stepparent maintaining the relationship
  • What the child believes constitutes a family member
  • The family members’ attitude towards the divorce

A research NCBI concludes that children desire to keep relationships with parent figures regardless of the family situation. However, no legal ties or biological relationships are connecting them and deciding whether to maintain a relationship is something that is not easy to determine.

Depending on the age of the children and the actual cause of divorce, choosing whether to keep the relationship or cut ties is a decision that must involve all parties concerned.

Some people will think about what the children want and how the breakup will affect them when making this decision. Sometimes the biological parent may bar the children from making contact with the stepparents but this only works in the case of minors. When they become adults, they can decide on their own whether to continue with the relationship or to drop it.

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