Step parent right?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 09-01-2009, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do step parents have rights? Are they looked at in the eyes of the court as a parent that has rights?
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#2 of 7 Old 09-01-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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In Florida, unless the stepparent has legally adopted the child or children, they have no rights. It is my understanding that say you are married to someone and you are stepmother to a child, and you get divorced, you get no legal rights or visitation to that child, no matter how close you are. Unless its on paper (i.e. legal adoption), I don't believe there are stepparent rights in my state. I may, however, be wrong!

Mommy to four under age 4!
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#3 of 7 Old 09-01-2009, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I live in california. I was just wondering. Thanks for the advice
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#4 of 7 Old 09-01-2009, 07:51 PM
 
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In most states and most situations, stepparents are viewed as legal strangers with no more rights than the dude down the street. They *may* be given certain limited rights by the parent (i.e. pick up the kids from school, attend p/t conferences, etc), but nothing resembling a parent's rights.
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#5 of 7 Old 09-01-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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Yeah. No rights. That being said, I take my stepsons to the doctor, go to school conferences, and sign things for them (nothing of any importance, just boring school papers). Their mom and dad are cool with it, though, so I guess I have the parental 'permission'. No one has ever given me a hard time about it. The school knows to call me when they're sick because I'm home. I can call the school and get information about bus routes and stuff, too, with no hassle.

When older dss wanted to do a medical study, I emailed his mom to check, and I took him with no problem from anyone.

So... all my 'rights' are conferred by mom and dad, and could stop at any time.
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#6 of 7 Old 09-01-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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In Wisconsin, it's in between.

Stepparents have the right to petition for visitation and, in rare instances, custody (for instance: if stepmom married a widower, and then he died, she could petition for custody and likely get it over grandparents, etc.).

Stepparents are also considered parents for the purpose of FMLA--definitely on the state level, and I believe federally as well. Stepparents can put stepkids on their health insurance, although sometimes they have to prove there's a court order that their spouse carry the kids' insurance and they have to carry the spouse, too.

Stepparents and stepkids can transfer a car between each other without paying a transfer tax here.

They also have the responsibility to care for the child in that a stepparent can be charged with neglect just the same as a parent can. Anyone--a babysitter, teacher, friend's parent--can be charged with neglect for, say, locking a kid in their care out of the house in the cold without shoes or a coat (basically, acute acts), but a stepparent can be charged if the children have inadequate food, clothing, or shelter.

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
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#7 of 7 Old 09-01-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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No, but I did sign my kindergarten aged step daughter out of school and sometimes signed school papers. If no one challenges you, I guess you might be okay.
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