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People also ask
What is the difference between a legal guardianship and a stepparent?
A legal guardianship, on the other hand, preserves the legal ties between the child and his biological parents, so their rights and responsibilities co-exist with the stepparent’s. However, courts often hesitate to grant guardianship if both biological parents are fit and present in their children’s lives.
How do I adopt a stepchild or become a legal guardian?
The process of adopting a stepchild or becoming a legal guardian varies greatly by state, so always consult a licensed family law professional in your state when considering these steps. There are big differences between adopting a stepchild and becoming a stepchild’s legal guardian.
How can a stepparent gain legal rights to a stepchild?
There are two major ways for a stepparent to gain additional legal rights: adopting the stepchild or becoming the stepchild’s legal guardian. Some states also offer parents the option to delegate certain parental powers, like making medical or education-related decisions, to a stepparent via a power of attorney.
Can step-parents get joint custody of their children?
One way step-parents can gain more legal authority over their child’s life is through legal adoption. However, adoption typically isn’t a feasible option in joint custody arrangements, as a noncustodial biological parent must give up their rights to a child in order for a step-parent to adopt successfully.