A step-parent can be an integral and significant part of a child’s life. However, if the relationship between the biological parent and step-parent does not work out, it is important to know that step-parents do have parental rights in the state of Pennsylvania. The following list is just a few issues a step-parent may encounter either when a relationship ends or in the matter of adoption regarding the child you have cared for and your legal rights.
Step-parent adoption often occurs with the consent of both parents, and is an ideal step if the child resides with the biological parent and the step-parent who would like to legally adopt the son or daughter. In these circumstances, the biological parent signs a consent form to terminate their parental rights. However, step-parent adoption can be very complicated and can be the subject of intense litigation that may require the involuntary termination of parental rights, in which case the court will intervene and consider certain facts, such as whether the parent whose rights are in question is paying or has paid child support.
Support Obligation of Step-Parents
A step-parent is not legally responsible for the support of the minor stepchildren except in rare circumstances. If it is determined that the step-parent must provide financial support, his or her income is not a factor in determining the amount of support that a parent will pay or the amount a parent will receive under a Pennsylvania child support order.
The end of a romantic relationship can be a very difficult thing, and when children are involved, matters can become very complicated. Parents want to do what is best for the child, and deciding how involved they would like the step-parent to be in the child’s life can make for a challenging decision. If you are a step-parent in Pennsylvania and need advice regarding your family, the Montgomery County step-parent rights lawyer Sheryl R. Rentz can help you with the potentially perplexing legal matters that can arise. For a no-cost consultation, please call (866) 290-9292.