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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Domestic violence was a part of my family's life for years. When I made the decision to leave with my children, I had to rely on the law to provide the protection we needed. Sometimes, the system does not work as fast as we want. I soon learned that going at it alone without any guidance caused significant delays. I created this blog to help others who are seeking legal means to deal with an abusive ex. By making the right moves, it is possible to get the necessary protections in place so that you can also live a happier and healthier life.

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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Step-Parent Adoptions: 3 Facts You Should Know

by Gina Hill

Despite the fact that many stepparents play an important role in the lives of their stepchildren, the law does not currently offer these individuals the same rights as a biological parent. In fact, stepparents may even be denied the right to custody or visitation if something should happen to their spouse. This is precisely why many stepparents choose to take steps to adopt their stepchildren and create a legal parent/child relationship.

If you are considering taking this step, the facts outlined below can help you to prepare for the important legal process that lies ahead:

Fact 1: A Child Cannot Have More Than Two Legal Parents

The law only allows one mother and one father to be recognized as the legal parents of a child. If the biological parents of your stepchild both have parental rights, the rights of the absentee parent will need to be terminated before you can move forward with an adoption.

If the absentee parent agrees to the termination of their rights, they can simply sign a consent form that will allow the judge to immediately consider your adoption petition. However, if the other parent does not agree to have their rights terminated, you will need to prove that it is in the best interest of the child before the judge can consider involuntarily terminating their parental rights.

Fact 2: A Child May Need To Consent To A Stepparent Adoption

Depending upon the age of your stepchild, you may need to obtain their consent before your stepparent adoption can be finalized. If your stepchild is required to give consent, this consent will need to both written and verbal. The age of consent varies from state to state so be sure to consult a family law attorney in your local area regarding the need for the child's consent in your jurisdiction.

Fact 3: Divorce Does Not Void A Stepparent Adoption

No matter how stable your marriage may be at the moment, there is always a chance that things will not work out as intended and you and your spouse may end up divorced sometime in the future. If this happens, it is important to understand that you will still be the legal parent of your stepchild. Not only does this mean that you will have the right to seek custody or visitation with the child, but it also means that you will remain legally responsible for meeting all of the child's needs.

To learn more, contact a company like Mills & Mills Law Group with any questions or concerns you have.

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