Step-Parents Rights Lawyers Berkhamsted, Amersham & Beaconsfield

Can I obtain parental responsibility for my step-child?

Step-parents can acquire parental responsibility through a formal agreement or a Court Order, Once a step parent has parental responsibility, they will have the same duties and responsibilities as a biological parent. 

How do I obtain a parental responsibility agreement as a step-parent?

There are two criteria for a parental responsibility agreement. Firstly, you must be married to the biological parent that the child lives with. Secondly you must have the signed consent of every other person with parental responsibility for the child.

What if I cannot obtain the consent of the other parent of my step-child?

If you are experiencing difficulty in obtaining consent, you can ask the Court a make a decision. The Court should only be involved as a last resort. Before beginning a Court application, you should consider family mediation to help resolve any differences.

Following divorce can a step-parent seek contact?

It is often in the best of interests of children for the relationship to continue between them and their step-parent, even if the step-parent is no longer married to their biological parent. A solicitor can advise your legal rights as a father or mother in divorce situations. If arrangements cannot be agreed, step-parents can apply to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order to spend time with their step children. As with any process involving children, a Court looks at what is in their best interests, giving the child’s welfare paramount consideration. Amongst other things, the Court looks at the children’s own wishes and feelings and whether contact could potentially cause any harm. 

Am I financially responsible for my step-child?

Step-parents have no formal obligation to maintain a step-child unless that child is a “child of the family”. That means that you must have been responsible for the child and in essence treated the child as your own. The obligation to maintain a step-child is not an obligation which is automatic nor is it dealt with in the same manner as the obligations to maintain a child are dealt with in relation to a biological parent.

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Our specialist family law solicitors serve our clients across Bucks, Berks, Herts and Middlesex.

Some clients work with us remotely, others we can visit at home or they can visit our offices in AmershamBeaconsfieldBerkhamstedCheshamChorleywoodGerrard’s Cross, High Wycombe, Rickmansworth or The Chalfonts.

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