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.

  • Can a family member become a legal guardian of a child?

  • For example, if a child鈥檚 parents were in a serious accident that caused both parents to lapse into a coma, a court could either appoint a close family member to become their temporary legal guardian. They may also review the parents鈥?will documents and designate the person named therein the child鈥檚 legal guardian.

  • How do I get legal guardianship of my stepchildren?

  • Typically, you will need to contact the clerk’s office of the court that oversees guardianships in your state and file a petition for the type of guardianship you’re seeking. You will need a copy for each party you’re required to give notice to, including at least the court and the stepchild’s other parent.

  • 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.

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