Stepparent rights?

When your ex remarries their new husband or wife have legal rights over your children, right? They are a stepparent after all aren’t they? Not the same as a biological parent, true – but a parent all the same.

They’ll be able to make major decisions about your kids’ lives. Where they go to school. What medical treatment they receive. That sort of thing. They’re your kids’ parent as much as you aren’t they? Especially as they will likely see your kids more than you do, right?

A Stepparent has no legal rights or responsibilities.

Being a stepparent confers no rights and no responsibilities. They have no legal relationship to your child. The only thing that counts is PR (Parental Responsibility).

Wicked stepmotherBut Aha!’ I hear you cry. `My ex’s new partner/spouse is listed as a contact at my kids’ school and doctor! And they told me they aren’t going to allow me to see the kids!’

As always…this is a lack of understanding of the law. It’s not the law itself. If your ex has PR they have the same legal status as everyone else. And they’re only going to get that by getting a court to order it or with the agreement of everyone else who has PR (and I am assuming that includes you, dear reader).

So assuming your ex’s partner acts in a way that is inconsistent to your child’s best interests what do you do? Quite simply – they’re not a party to anything that involves your children. Your ex, as the responsible and child-focused adult that he/she undoubtedly is will of course only allow your child to spend time with an appropriate adult.

Your ex is responsible for their partner as a stepparent

Any application to the court should be to other holders of PR – usually your ex. Simple as that.

A stepparent can make an application with regard to your children however. To do so they need a C100 and a C2 form (the latter for permission); they’ll need to demonstrate they have played a meaningful role in your children’s lives for their application to be heard.

Anyone who doesn’t have PR for a child is in the same boat – it doesn’t matter what their relationship with the child is. So don’t focus on your ex’s new partner; it is all about the best interests of your child as always.

 

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