An exploration of the impact of the Family Court process on "Invisible" stepparents
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Law and Justice
Child custody decisions on separated families seldom acknowledge the impact that such decisions have on subsequent partners of the biological parents. New partners are thus “invisible” in litigation in the Family Court. This project utilised a qualitative research methodology to explore this experience with a purposive experiential sample of 12 second partners. The primary themes identified in thematic content analysis were exclusion and invisibility in a system over which they had little control. The findings suggest that the negative psychological impact would be lessened if a policy of inclusion was adopted in the Family Court process.