Sometimes stepparents want to adopt their stepchildren, but this process is very difficult because unless the natural parent consents, courts are very reluctant to separate biological parents and children. Stepparent adoption frees the natural parent of support obligations and removes his or her presence from the lives of the children, and some stepparents feel that legal parenthood makes the process of blending easier.
In the words of one family law attorney, Sue Moss of Chemtob, Moss, Forman & Talbert, the stepparent remains "a biological and legal stranger" to stepchildren. This means "the stepparents may adopt only after the noncustodial parent has been removed from the status of legal parent by consent, court order, or death."
A court can involuntarily strip a parent of his or her rights when he or she abandons a child, which generally means "no contact between the parent and child for at least one year."
Useful Online Tools
Resources & Tools
CHILDREN IN THE MIDDLE -- Children of divorce often feel trapped in the middle. They should never be used as messengers between the two former spouses. Nor should they be used as intelligence operatives.
Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Online Parenting Plans
3StepParentingPlanTM uses cutting-edge online software to create your Parenting Plan. Using a smart question-and-answer application, 3StepParentingPlanTM gets you a fully customized Parenting Plan in a little more than half of a lawyerÕs billable hour.
|Your Right to Child Custody, Visitation & Support
Cover Price: $
Your Price: $17.95
You Save: $7.00
"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
|The information contained on this page is not to be considered legal advice. This website is not a substitute for a lawyer and a lawyer should always be consulted in regards to any legal matters. Divorce Source, Inc. is also not a referral service and does not endorse or recommend any third party individuals, companies, and/or services. Divorce Source, Inc. has made no judgment as to the qualifications, expertise or credentials of any participating professionals. Read our Terms & Conditions.|