Stepparents lack parental rights.
Florida law clearly states that stepparents lack formal parental rights unless they adopt their stepchild.
When your spouse has children from a previous relationship, the rights of both biological parents take precedence over the rights of the stepparent – unless the stepparent adopts the child. This applies even if the stepparent resides in the same home as the custodial parent. The non-custodial parent still has more rights over the child than a stepparent.
Stepparents can obtain full parental rights via adoption.
If you’re a stepparent and you wish to have parental rights established, you must adopt your stepchild. A Florida Family Law Attorney can help you with this process.
Adopting a child can be complex, and if you have an unwilling biological parent, the process can become even more difficult. At the Law Offices of Sara J. Singer, we understand you care for your stepchild, and you wish to have parental rights established. This is why working with a competent and experienced family law attorney makes a difference.
Sara Singer and her legal team are experienced in handling stepparent rights cases and will help you fight to receive full parental rights for your stepchild.
Stepparenting Dos and Don’ts.
Being a parent is not an easy responsibility; being a stepparent is also extremely difficult. Here are 10 tips from a family law attorney on how to handle your new responsibility as a stepparent.
- Refrain from assuming a parental role prematurely. Allow your stepchildren time to acquaint themselves with you and adapt to your involvement in their lives.
- Do not rush to have a good relationship with your partner’s children or stepchildren. Let it evolve naturally.
- Do not try to be the “cool” stepparent. There is no requirement to compete with your partner’s former spouse for their children’s attention or affection.
- Avoid speaking ill of your partner’s ex, especially in the presence of your stepchild. Negative remarks can be damaging to the child’s emotional well-being.
- Do not hold unrealistic expectations of your stepchildren. Keep in mind; they have already endured a challenging experience.
- Do not create a separate parenting plan from your partner. It’s vital to have a unified front. You both need to be on the same page.
- Do not take it to heart if the child displays a preference for their biological parent. This is natural and does not reflect upon you personally.
- Don’t expect an instant, happy family. It takes time to get used to change, especially after a life-altering event like divorce and a new stepparent.
- Don’t expect to display affection to your partner instantly in front of your stepchild. Kids need time to understand what is going on, and they need time to understand how you feel for your partner.
- Don’t ignore your relationship with your partner.