Marriage Defenders

With Justice for ALL (quote from the pledge of allegience U.S.A.)

This is an informational website offering support not legal advise

Issue - Step Children -

What are a person's obligations to stepchildren? Every parent has a legal responsibility to support his or her own biological children. Thus, stepparents have no independent obligation towards their stepchildren. Of course, if the children are living with you, you will probably end up providing for some of their support, since you will be paying rent or a mortgage, and you will undoubtedly drive them around in a car that you bought for yourself.

However, this does not mean that you are legally obligated to provide these things, and if you and your new spouse separate or divorce, you will have no obligation to pay support directly.

The only exception to this is when you essentially "step into the shoes" of that child's other parent and become the sole provider of support. Say, for example, that your new wife was deserted by her ex-husband several years ago. She marries you, and you essentially become her 10-year-old son's parent. You may be obligated to support him if this marriage fails.

Generally, the determination will depend on several factors, including: whether her first husband provides financial support to the child the length of your second marriage the intentions you and your second spouse have about the new family's relationships.

Can a stepparent adopt the children? Typically, you will not be able to adopt your stepchildren without the consent of their other biological parent. Divorced parents do not surrender their parental rights. However, if your new spouse is a widow or widower, or if the stepchild was abandoned or, in some states, born out of wedlock and without any substantial ties to the other parent, then you probably can adopt.

If you choose to do so, you would need to see a lawyer about getting the legal process started. You will have to appear in court before a judge; it is not the kind of thing that you can simply do on your own on paper.

***********

ShalomRefuge.com or ShalomRefuge.com is not responsible for any opinions expressed on this site.

E-mail Web Master - MarriageDefenders@comcast.net

Return to Main Site Index Biblical Aspects