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Chester County Step-Parent Rights Lawyers

Step-Parent Rights in Pennsylvania

parents with young child and baby As a loving stepparent, you cherish and treat your stepchildren as if they were your biological children. You want to provide them with security and guidance and remain an important part of their lives no matter what happens. While step-parents do have parental rights in the state of Pennsylvania, they are different from the rights of biological and adoptive parents. It is important that you learn everything you can about all of the issues a step-parent may encounter regarding the child you have cared for and your legal rights.

If you are a step-parent in Pennsylvania and need advice regarding your rights, Chester County family law lawyer Sheryl R. Rentz can help you with the potentially perplexing legal matters that may arise. With Attorney Rentz at your side, you never have to worry about where you stand. She will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of your rights and legal options, and lend you guidance at every turn. To learn more about what Attorney Rentz can do for you in a no-cost consultation, please call (610) 645-0100.

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What Are the Adoption Rights of Step-Parents in Pennsylvania?

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.

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What Are the Support Obligations 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 stands in loco parentis to a child, or has acted as and has assumed the responsibilities of a parent during the marriage, s/he may be prevented from avoiding child support obligations, for instance, after the marriage has ended. However, 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.

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What Are the Custody Rights of Step-Parents?

As long as a step-parent stands in loco parentis to a child, s/he is given the same consideration as a biological or adoptive parent when the court considers to whom custody should be granted. The court will always award custody on the basis of a child's best interest, even if the award results in denying custody to the child's biological or adoptive parents.

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Let Our Compassionate Pennsylvania Attorneys Help

At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., we provide renowned family legal services throughout Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania. Contact our office to get started on your case.

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