When you marry, you can no longer make financial decisions based only on what you want. You need to consider your spouse’s wishes and needs. When you have children, you sacrifice a bit more of your freedom to spend as you please. The money you saved for a week-long surf trip may be needed to buy clothes and school books for them.

When you marry someone who already has children, you do not have the same financial obligations to their children as you would to your own. The same applies if you end up divorcing their parent. Under Florida law, as a stepparent, you do not have any obligation to pay child support after your divorce from the child’s parent. Child support is generally only paid by biological parents.

The flip side is that you also do not have any visitation rights. Even if you have lived with that child and brought them up as your own, you have no legal right to see them after the divorce. If you wish to retain your rights to visit a stepchild, you would need to have adopted them. Unfortunately, this might also make you liable for child support payments.

Even though you may have no legal right to see a stepchild, it is not forbidden. If you maintain an amicable relationship with your ex-spouse, they may allow you to visit your stepchild unless the other biological parent disagrees.

Seek legal help if you need to clarify the legal effects of divorce on your relationship with a stepchild. It can be a difficult situation, but your priority should be to do what is best for the child, within the realms of the law.