can a step parent get legal guardianship

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  • 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.

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