Law Office of Paul Petrillo
Contact Us Today 603-635-4149
Menu Contact

What are stepparents' custody rights?

Stepparents are in a gray area in the law. They often take care of children as if they are their own. Stepparents do have some legal rights that you should be aware of.

What are the legal rights of stepparents?

Stepparents are not actually related to a child and may not be legally recognized as a parent. They could be recognized as a guardian with the right documentation. Stepparents can adopt their stepchildren, but if both biological parents are in the child's life, then permission needs to be given by both. In the case that one parent has lost legal rights to the child, the stepparent can apply for the adoption without that parent's consent.

Can you seek out visitation as a stepparent going through a divorce?

Not all states allow for stepparents to seek visitation rights after a divorce. Stepparents are explicitly mentioned in New Hampshire's visitation laws and may seek visitation if they divorce the mother or father of a child they have raised. The court will review the case to make sure that continued visitation is in the best interests of the child. If your former spouse, the biological parent of the child, opposes your visitation rights, this can be a major hurdle for you.

Fortunately, the courts will look at the long-term relationship you have with the child to determine if it's in the child's best interests to continue to see you. For example, barring any violence or unusual circumstances, a child raised by a stepparent for years would likely want to and feel comfortable continuing to see that parent.

If this is something you're going through, your attorney can help you make your case for continued visitation.

Source: FindLaw, "The Legal Rights of Stepparents," Ephrat Livni, accessed Feb. 07, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Start Your Case Today

Whether you have a family law issue, an estate planning question or are considering bankruptcy, I can help you find a sustainable solution that provides relief and hope. Schedule your consultation at my Nashua, New Hampshire office today by calling 603-635-4149 or by sending us an email.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

email us for a response
Law Office of Paul Petrillo