Divorce With Unadopted Child

by Zachary from Jacksonville, Florida, Duval County

I married my wife who has a child whom I did not adopt. We decided a divorce was very necessary.

Would I have to file for divorce with child form or since I did not adopt the child there is no legal bonds to me and I can file divorce without child form?

Answer to Florida Divorce Question

Dear Zachary,

As long as the children involved in the divorce are not your biological children and you do not have any custody orders in place, you can file for a Florida divorce using the Dissolution of Marriage with No Children forms.

You will begin this process by filing the dissolution petition with the court.

Have a look at our Dissolution of Marriage With No Children page for more information.

If you and your wife can agree to all issues in the divorce, you may be able to get a simplified divorce (uncontested) which can make the process much quicker.

A simplified divorce only requires you meet residency requirements (or your spouse) and you must both appear at the clerk’s office to file the petition and get the process started.

You must also have an agreement on all property, assets, and how debt is to be handled as well as have no children together.

If she does not agree or you do not qualify for a simplified divorce, the process becomes
a general divorce.

This begins with a petitioner filing for divorce, then involves properly serving the divorce papers, and allowing her to respond.

You may both also be required to offer up preliminary financial disclosures, provide income and expense declarations, and finally attend a final hearing or trial to receive a judgment on the case.

If you have been married a long time and you are close to your current stepson, you can speak to her about possible visitation with her son.

It is not against the law for you to have visitation with the stepchild, especially if it benefits the child.

However, this is something that mostly depends on his mother’s discretion because you are correct in that you have no legal rights to the child or legal rights to visitation with the child unless a court deems it necessary for the child's best interests.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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