In the past, two parents, both biological, would have rights over a child. Nobody else would be able to interfere with this. However, over the years many things have changed, and now you see a variety of cases where other parties are gaining rights over a child. One of these parties is stepparents, who play a very special role in a child’s life, and the courts are starting to realize this. The court likes to see a child having all kinds of healthy relationships with a variety of figures in their life.
Custody Rights Both Legal Parents and Stepparents Have
Of course, the law first and foremost considers the rights of the parents in regards to legal and physical custody. This means that a child lives with their parents and their bio parents get to make many decisions that have an impact on their lives. A non-custodial parent will generally dictate how active they are in their child’s life, while a custodial parent tends to have the most time with a child at any given time. If a child has a close relationship with a stepparent and one parent is not in the picture, it may leave room for more rights in terms of stepparent adoptions and more.
If a custodial parent passes away, the non-custodial parent will usually gain custody of the child. A stepparent may also petition to get time with a child who has been an active part of their life and even lived with them, depending on the circumstances. The court looks at a variety of aspects, from who can maintain a continuous influence on a child’s life and their future. In some cases, a non-custodial parent may be extremely dangerous to a child, which is where a stepparent comes in and the court may decide to give them more visitation time or even consider custody.
As you can see, many of these aspects are not set in stone because every situation is different when it comes to custody matters! With a variety of people being involved in a child’s life, who knows what will happen until you speak to an attorney and take your matters in front of a judge. Contact us today to get started on your case, as we have experience in child custody matters and can help you.