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Foster Children

What Happens to Foster Children When Caretakers Separate?

Families may find that fostering children is a rich and rewarding experience. Those families that foster children must pass rigorous background checks and screenings prior to having a child placed with them. These are to ensure that the caretakers can provide a safe and appropriate environment for the foster child.

As special as foster families are, they are not immune from the stresses that affect all other Michigan families. The challenges of daily life, finances, and disagreements can culminate with foster parents divorcing. If you are in this situation, understanding what comes next can help ease the uncertainty you and your foster child face.

Foster Parents Must Notify Their Agency of Divorce

If you are a foster parent, you have an obligation to notify the agency that placed your foster child with you of any significant changes in your family situation. Separation and divorce are two major changes to your family dynamic that must be reported to the agency as soon as possible.

Your Foster Child Will Likely Be Removed From Your Home

Unless you adopted your foster child prior to the separation or divorce, the agency will likely take your foster child from your home and place them somewhere else with another family. As disruptive as this move may be for your child, the agency has reasons for doing this. For instance:

  • Your income may be negatively affected if you are reduced to a single-income home
  • Divorce is stressful, and you may not be able to devote your full attention to your foster child
  • There may be concerns about domestic violence or abuse in the home
  • Your new living situation might introduce individuals into the home who have not passed a background screen

Even if your divorce is amicable, the agency is still likely to remove your foster child from your care so that you can focus on your personal affairs while another family can focus more fully on the child.

Keeping Your Foster Child at Home With You

In rare cases, the agency may choose to leave your foster child with you. This is most likely to occur if:

  • You and your spouse are amicably separating
  • You are remaining in the marital home following the divorce
  • You are able to maintain the same standard of living without your ex’s financial contributions
  • You demonstrate an ability to continue meeting your foster child’s physical and emotional needs

The best course of action is to work with the child placement agency and make your interest known up front. An experienced Michigan family lawyer can guide you in the actions you can take to make it more likely your request will be granted.

Reach Out to a Knowledgeable Michigan Divorce Lawyer for More Help

Divorce is complicated — even more so when foster children are involved. Gucciardo Family Law and our experienced Michigan divorce lawyers are available to answer all of your questions and provide you with exceptional legal representation throughout your divorce. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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