Do I include my children from a previous relationship in the divorce agreement with my new husband? 22 Answers as of May 31, 2011

My boys were born before I married their father. Do I include them in the child custody and support part of the divorce?

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Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
No, you would not include them unless they are the children of your husband.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/31/2011
Berner Law Group, PLLC
Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
Were they adopted by your husband or something? Sounds like you really need some good legal guidance. Feel free to call for a free, initial consultation-by phone or in person.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/31/2011
Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
It depends on whether or not their father the present husband you are divorcing. I really do encourage you to hire an attorney to protect your rights and those of your children. You are in a difficult area practicing law on your own. You need someone who knows the law to ascertain what your children are entitled to receive.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/27/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
No he has no legal responsibility to support step children.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
The answer depends on facts not stated in your question. Also, your question does not make is clear whether you are divorcing the biological father, or your husband who is not the biological father. I think you meant the latter. Assuming that is the case, there could be issues of custody/visitation and child support, depending, as said, on facts not stated in your question. First of all, does your husband want custody or visitation rights? If not, then the divorce settlement agreement should state that. If he does want custody/visitation rights, and the two of you reach an agreement on such terms, then again, those terms should be included in the agreement. Same goes for child support. Do you want it? Does your husband agree to pay any child support? Or, are you getting child support from the biological father? Call a local family law lawyer to discuss the particular facts of your case so you can decide how best to proceed. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2011
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
    This is answer is limited to New York State law. The answer depends on (1) whether your husband adopted your children from the previous relationship and (2) whether you are receiving support payments for the minor children from their biological father. If the answer to question 1 is yes, then you can apply for child support payments from the new husband. If the answer is no, then support will depend on whether you are receiving support payments from the biological father. If the answer is no, then you can apply for child support payments from the new husband. If the answer is yes, then you will have to look to the biological father for support payments.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Generally, no; your husband has no legal obligation or legal rights concerning your children unless there is some sort of strong, long term relationship with your sons that might convince a court that continuing that relationship is in the children's best interest. The fact that you have children that your husband is not legally responsible for is important to properly computing child support, however. So, while you don't have to list those children in the petition, it is important that the court know about them and it doesn't hurt anything to identify them in the petition.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Simple answer - no. They are not a product of this relationship.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Assuming your husband never adopted the boys, under Washington law you do not need to include the boys in the parenting plan and child support order. However, if your husband is close to the boys, you may want to include some time for the boys with your husband in a parenting plan, and he may want to agree to keep on helping with their support in a child support order.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    You did not specify exactly how you meant to include them. He would not have to pay child support if they are not his kids. I would suggest that you retain a divorce lawyer in your community and discuss all the facts, along with your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    It depends. Did he adopt them? If not, then they are not of the marriage and not adopted during the marriage which means they are not a part of the divorce proceedings.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    No, not unless your new husband adopted them. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Wait, what? Are they the biological children of your new husband? did he adopt them? or acknowledge and treat them as his own? and for how many years? I need more information to answer your question. And it is pretty clear you need a lawyer to help you figure this out. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    They would be listed in the fact section, but need not be addressed elsewhere if there is no request for some type of third party visitation.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    No, they should be the subject of the prior divorce or support order, not this one. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Only children of the relationship should be included in Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (they can be born before the marriage, but your husband must be their biological father or qualify as their natural father). If they are the children of someone else and everyone knows it, such that there is no father-child relationship with the boys, then they shouldn't be listed on the Petition. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    No, your husband has no responsibility for your children of a former marriage of yours, unless he adopted them. Whereas he has no rights (such as visitation) with the children, if they had formed a bonded and caring relationship, it would be a shame to deprive the children and your husband of continuation of that good relationship, but that should not be addressed in the Judgment. It would be voluntary on your part.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, the Court will recognize a "de facto parent." If, however, the children's biological father has been part of their lives, it is very likely this legal concept will not apply.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    In Michigan and Ohio, normally children of both parents are included in the divorce, even if their birth preceded the marriage. Please consult an attorney for further information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    No. Not unless he has adopted them. If he is not the biological or the legal parent, these children are not included in any child custody calculations. Your current husband will not have to pay child support for them, and you shouldn't have any issues with custody.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Attorney Paul Lancia
    Attorney Paul Lancia | Paul Lancia
    Same father, yes. Different fathers, no.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    If your current husband is not the biological father, and he did not legally adopt the children, then you would not include them in your current divorce agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/26/2011
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