Divorce can be hard on any couple, especially for families with children. When it comes to a divorce involving children, the Court will always place the welfare of the child first. This is taken into huge consideration when considering child support, visitation, child custody, and the division of assets. What happens when foster care children are under the care of individuals who are divorcing?
Foster care is a temporary arrangement in which willing adults provide care for a child/children whose birth parents are, for any reason, unable to provide and care for them. In these cases, the legal caretakers (foster parents) have no legal claim on the child and therefore do not have any other rights besides meeting their basic needs.
Foster Care Children During Times of Divorce
During times of divorce, one of two things can happen. Either the child will remain in the caretaker’s care during this time (this happens in certain circumstances), or the child will be removed from the home and placed somewhere else (this is the most likely outcome).
Why Would a Child Be Removed from the Caretaker’s Home During a Divorce?
Foster care children are placed in homes that can give them a stable and healthy environment. During times of divorce, that environment can become unstable and, in some cases, toxic. Caretakers arguing, having outbursts due to stress, and being distracted because of the divorce proceedings can be seen and felt by the child/children in their care.
When caretakers divorce, social workers will often visit the home to assess the stability and health of the environment. Often, the child will be removed from the home to provide the child with a healthier environment.
When Could a Child Remain in the Home?
There are some cases where divorcing caretakers do not have their foster child/children removed from their care. This sometimes happens in cases where one spouse has already moved out of the home, and the tension inside of the home is either minimal or non-existent. Though this is also contingent on a few factors:
- How much time the main caretaker has to spend with the child;
- How much care the caretaker can provide if he or she is financially able to support the child; and,
- How well he or she can support the child through this difficult time.
Can a Caretaker Receive Child Support for the Foster Child?
No. Legally, foster children do not belong to the caretakers, and therefore are unable to gain child support from the other spouse. However, if both foster parents were to legally adopt the child, then child support would be appropriate.
Care and Guidance Throughout Divorce Cases
Alison Grant, Attorney at Law has been serving the people of DFW since 1998. If you are currently going through a divorce and need legal representation to help you get the settlement/assets you deserve, contact Alison Grant today! Her team will take care of the legal proceedings while you focus on taking care of you and your family.