Stepparents' rights if the birth parent dies - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 42 Old 03-01-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Of course I don't know how good the relationship between stepmom and the kids is, but while I'm sure this is true legally, I find this very sad.

All the time, patience, love amounts to not even enough to grant me maintain relationship with a stepchild that I love. "A phone call" should suffice? She couldn't love her stepmother, could she? And miss her. It can't be possibly in her best interest to have a healthy relationship with an adult who was such an integral part of her and her father's life, should anything happen... *sigh*
I agree Oriole...I can't imagine not having a relationship with my DSD. It would be devastating to both Mona and I.
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#32 of 42 Old 03-01-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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My Hubby and I looked into it a couple years back. If something were to happen to my Hubby, legally, it would be completely up to my stepdaughter's Mother whether or not I could keep contact with my stepdaughter, or my stepdaughter could keep contact with my son (her stepbrother, who's been her brotehr for the last five years). In my case, her Mother has outright said that if something were to happen to my Hubby, my stepdaughter would never see this side of the family again, and grow up believing it was OUR choice. Legally, she has every "right" to do so. We've been advised that in the worst case scenario, my Father-in-Law would have to fight for Grandparent's Rights, and hopefully, we'd be able to maintain contact with my stepdaughter through him, although my stepdaughter's Mother could certainly fight it, and possibly win, if she chose to. This is one of my worst fears.

It's slightly different, though similar in my son's case. His Biological Father has not seen him or contacted him in ten years. If something were to happen to me, legally, my son's Biological Father would have every "right" to take custody of my son, if he chose to, though since my Husband has been my son's only Dad for seven years now, it would be be a tossup of who would get custody, probably more of a joint custody thing if my Hubby got him and a full custody with visitation for the StepDad at the Biological Father's discretion if my son's Biological Father got him. (I'm not too concerned about that, though, because my son's Biological Father has said many times that he doesn't want him.)

Basically, StepParents have no rights, and in effect, stepchildren have no rights.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#33 of 42 Old 03-01-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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I posted this on the first page o this thread way back when, but thought it would be good to put it up again. If you are one of the lucky ones to live in the states with step-parent rights and/or "interested third party" your legal chances are much higher.

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A stepparent who shows that they have voluntarily assumed the relationship of "parent" to a stepchild might also anticipate that some parental duties, such as support obligations, might also be imposed out of the establishment of in loco parentis status. However, because the establishment of in loco parentis status requires proof of intent to enter into such a parent-child relationship, merely allowing stepchildren to live in your home will not likely result in support obligations upon the conclusion of the marriage. In fact, courts have been much more hesitant to impose support obligations on stepparents than they have been in providing stepparents with visitation rights. Nonetheless, it is advisable for stepparents to keep in mind that the law often imposes parental obligations along with parental privileges. Stepparent Visitation in California, Kansas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin all have statutes explicitly addressing stepparent visitation; Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Ohio, and Washington have third party visitation statutes have been used as basis for allowing stepparent visitation. California has not passed any legislation providing for stepparent support in conjunction with stepparent visitation, but that could change at any time, and stepparents should be aware of this fact before asking the court for visitation rights.
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#34 of 42 Old 03-02-2009, 05:12 PM
 
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My H passed away last year. Luckily, I have a very close relationship with my step kids mother. I still see them, but that because she lets me.

If she didn't, I would have had to petition the court. It's awful that they lived with me for 6 years and I would have no right to see them. It's hard enough that I can't make ANY decisions for them now, but at least I can see them.

Christa- SO to a wonderful man, Bonus Momma to two great kids, and expecting a new babe in May 2012!

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#35 of 42 Old 03-10-2009, 09:24 AM
 
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This scares me because I knew if anything were to happen to me that my ex would probably take DS1 away and he'd never see his brother (DS2) or my family again.
This is my situation as well. My ex and his wife have already told me that if I were to pass away, Captain Knuckle would not be allowed to have any contact with my husband, period (who has raised Cpt. Knuckle since he was two). I don't understand that kind of thinking, as hard as I try. I just stood there, mouth agape, with a "hog lookin' at a wristwatch" look in my face. I mean, how does one respond to a comment like that?

Dissertating wife of Mr. Amazing Man, mother to Boo Bear ( ) Captain Knuckle (13), and The Professor (5). Expecting Penelope Rose 5/10/2010 via planned c/s.
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#36 of 42 Old 03-10-2009, 09:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Towgirl View Post
My H passed away last year. Luckily, I have a very close relationship with my step kids mother. I still see them, but that because she lets me.

If she didn't, I would have had to petition the court. It's awful that they lived with me for 6 years and I would have no right to see them. It's hard enough that I can't make ANY decisions for them now, but at least I can see them.
Sorry to hear of your loss. I am also very grateful that you are trying to remain involved with your stepchildren's lives. That is SO important to them right and I know it isn't easy for you.

Dissertating wife of Mr. Amazing Man, mother to Boo Bear ( ) Captain Knuckle (13), and The Professor (5). Expecting Penelope Rose 5/10/2010 via planned c/s.
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#37 of 42 Old 03-10-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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Towgirl, I'm sorry.

Steve has parental responsibility for my boys, which gives him right of contact if something happens to me, and the right to apply for custody. My sons also have the right to contact their siblings, and vice versa.

In addition, I've got two life insurance policies set up, one of which will be paying out to a trust fund set up for the provision of care for my older two. My husband, along with my mother, have control of that money. It's going to be hard for my ex to split up the family totally, even if he wants to.

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#38 of 42 Old 03-10-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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If my ex was dying I wouldn't sign anything giving the stepparent rights mostly because I wouldn't know the woman that well, and would assume she would be moving on at some point and dating other men who I knew even less about, and I wouldn't want any legally binding documents in effect. That doesn't mean I wouldn't allow visits, but I wouldn't sign any papers.
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#39 of 42 Old 03-12-2009, 06:56 AM
 
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Steve has parental responsibility for my boys, which gives him right of contact if something happens to me, and the right to apply for custody. My sons also have the right to contact their siblings, and vice versa.
We're in a similar situation. XH didn't have anything to do with DS from when I was pregnant til DS was almost 5. DH took on the father role completely and utterly.
XH remarried and his new wife wanted a relationship with DS, so XH now says that if anything happened to me he wants custody! This from the man who forgets DS birthday, doesn't see him for months on end and doesn't pay support!!!
To avoid that happening (I don't care how much his niave wife says he's not dangerous anymore) DH too has parental responsibility for DS, which our solicitor says will also help when the novelty wears off for XH and he stops visiting AGAIN. It means that it will be easier for DH to adopt DS permanently.:
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#40 of 42 Old 03-12-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pranamama View Post
If my ex was dying I wouldn't sign anything giving the stepparent rights mostly because I wouldn't know the woman that well, and would assume she would be moving on at some point and dating other men who I knew even less about, and I wouldn't want any legally binding documents in effect. That doesn't mean I wouldn't allow visits, but I wouldn't sign any papers.
This is an excellent point.
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#41 of 42 Old 03-13-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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I have mentioned this at different times to DF. Especially because Joey and Aaliyah will have a blood sibling by me in August.

There mom and I have a good relationship. I would hope she would allow me some visitation. I know Jose's mom would fight me and her for it though. Not sure how that would hold up.

A weekend visitation once per month would be nice.

We aren't even legally married yet which REALLY scares me. I am waiting for my divorce to be finalized. I would never want to take them full time, there mom deserves them more than me, plus I think they would prefer to be with her. I worry because DF has had cancer 2 times and is has another growth that he needs checked out.
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#42 of 42 Old 03-15-2009, 11:49 PM
 
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Wow. This thread makes me so glad and greatful that I have a good relationship with DSS's mom. I know she would never keep him from seeing me.

Conversely, DH and I would never keep DSS from seeing his stepdad, either. Sdad has been really good to DSS and is an important person in his life. I can't imagine living with myself if I was just like, "Meh! Go away, legal stranger!"

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
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