Montgomery County, PA Stepparent Rights Attorney
What Rights Do I Have as a Stepparent in Pennsylvania?
If you are married to someone with children from a previous relationship, you may have an opportunity to claim parental rights. If you are a stepparent and going through divorce, you may have a right to see the children you helped raise with your former spouse. The Montgomery County divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. will protect your rights and allow the children the benefit of all loving parents to depend on as they grow. Call (610) 645-0100 today for a free initial consultation.
Any person who has acted as a parental figure to a child has a right to file for custody in Montgomery County, PA. This includes grandparents, aunts and uncles, as well as a step-parent. Often, the stepfather or stepmother is the only father or mother a child knows. If the biological parent left the child's life early on, the bond between the child and the stepparent is as strong as or stronger than the one with the natural parent. The court recognizes that the nature of the relationship is more important than the biological fact of parenthood.
Adopting a Stepchild and Custody After Divorce in Pennsylvania
You might claim custody of a stepchild by adoption while you are married to the biological and custodial parent. Sometimes this is easy when the other natural parent has relinquished all rights.
Once you petition the court for adoption, the court will notify the biological parent. He or she has the opportunity to contest your petition. If he or she fails to contest your petition, the court may rule in your favor by default. This sometimes happens in cases in which the parent has stopped seeing the child and paying child support, is incarcerated or has passed away. Occasionally, a parent will agree to relinquish rights simply because it is in the best interest of the child.
Other times, the parent will fight to keep his or her parental rights, even if he or she is not fulfilling parental duties. You need an aggressive PA stepparent rights lawyer who will stand up for your rights and help you do what is best for the child or children.
Your Rights Count, Too
You have invested the time, energy, patience and money into raising your stepchildren that any good parent would, natural, adopted or otherwise. Call Montgomery County attorney Sheryl R. Rentz at (610) 645-0100 to gain or protect you parental rights.