Life after divorce can be difficult, especially if children who are minors are involved. And in cases with stepparents, the legal reality can be a bit tricky. While many people may assume that a stepparent would obtain parental rights simply by marriage to the child’s parent, it is not always the case. A court is unlikely to grant that parent any rights over the child unless the stepparent has petitioned for parental rights.
It’s always best to consult with family law attorneys in Hernando County, Florida, if you want advice about your particular situation, but here are a couple of points to think about.
It is best to review your situation with family law attorneys, as the process of adopting a stepchild can have several complexities that may arise throughout the proceedings.
Eligibility – Under Florida law, the stepparent’s spouse, who must be the parent of the child to be adopted, has to consent to the adoption. If not, then the court may find that it would be in the child’s best interests, or there may be other extenuating circumstances.
Petition – Family law attorneys will advise that next, a petition must be filed with all of the required information and documents. Petitioners seeking stepparent adoption must either obtain consent from the other parent or terminate that parent’s parental rights before being able to adopt a stepchild.
Notice – The petitioners must then provide notice to the other spouse, or any other interested parties. If the other parent consents to waive parental rights, then the process will be significantly expedited. If not, the court will determine whether the stepparent will be allowed to adopt the child.