Do stepparents have custody rights in Pennsylvania? 

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2021 | Family Law |

Despite not having a biological relationship, stepparents can still play a vital role in the upbringing of a child. Stepparents can take on the responsibility of raising the child in their formative years, bringing the child to and from school as well as caring for them when they are ill. 

What if a stepparent wants to make their relationship with their stepchild more secure?

Can stepparents adopt?

Typically, the courts in Pennsylvania will uphold the rights of a natural parent. Therefore, before a stepparent adoption can take place, the birth parent must agree to relinquish all parental rights. Where the biological parent does not agree to this, adoption may only occur in extenuating circumstances. Therefore, stepparent adoptions usually only take place when one of the biological parents has been out of the picture for a while.

Do stepparents have custody rights?

Unless the child has been adopted, stepparents will not have automatic rights to custody and visitation. However, even if the formal adoption process has not taken place, there are still means of establishing custody rights. 

If the stepparent can prove that they have carried out their duties towards the child in loco parentis (in the place of a parent), this will heighten their chances of being granted visitation or custody rights. They will have to show the courts that they have behaved in the same manner as a biological parent. For example, the natural parent and stepparent should have lived together as a family and shared the role of caring for the child. 

The legal rights of stepparents are generally considered by judges on a case-by-case basis. The key motivation of the court will be to offer a solution that is in the child’s best interests. Familiarizing yourself with your legal rights as a stepparent can help protect the parent-child relationship you value so much.

X

YOU MAY ONLY UTILIZE THE ONLINE PAYMENT SYSTEM TO PAY INVOICES ISSUED BY EVEY BLACK ATTORNEYS LLC.

Clients may NOT use the online payment system to pay any bankruptcy matter or inheritance tax imposed in an estate administration matter (Evey Black Attorneys LLC will not issue an invoice for these matters). Additionally, any municipal authority/township/borough sewer and/or water customer may NOT make any payment related to any delinquency for which this firm is collecting. Bankruptcy, estate administration tax matters and payments related to sewer and/or water delinquencies must be paid by cash, money order, certified bank check or personal check (personal checks in sewer/water delinquency matters or for inheritance tax payments may not be allowed in certain circumstances).

USE OF THE ONLINE PAYMENT SYSTEM IN VIOLATION OF THE ABOVE WILL RESULT IN EVEY BLACK ATTORNEYS LLC REFUNDING TO THE CREDIT CARD THE AMOUNT OF MONEY ORIGINALLY CHARGED, MINUS ANY TRANSACTION FEES EVEY BLACK ATTORNEYS LLC IS CHARGED, AND A $10 SERVICE CHARGE WILL BE IMPOSED. IN THE CASE OF A BANKRUPTCY PAYMENT, THE ENTIRE BALANCE WILL BE CREDITED AND THE CLIENT WILL REMAIN RESPONSIBLE TO PAY THE TRANSACTION FEES EVEY BLACK ATTORNEYS LLC IS CHARGED PLUS A $10 SERVICE CHARGE.

By clicking to proceed below, you are acknowledging you have read and understood the above restrictions on the use of the online payment system and agree to the charges set forth herein if you make a payment in violation of such restrictions.

PROCEED