A family law attorney in Clearwater can help stepparent legally adopt their stepchildren if they so wish. There are many reasons why some families choose to cement their familial ties legally with adoption, and whether it is to solidify an emotional bond, to establish legal benefits, or both, the law firm of Julie Beth Jouben, P.A. can help.
What Am I Entitled to as a Stepparent?
Being a stepparent allows you to care for your spouse’s children in many ways, but you must remember that you do not necessarily have the right to legal power over them, and you may also lack:
- Custody rights or visitation rights
- Decision-making authority concerning the child’s education
- Any say over the child’s religious matters
It is important to note that medical care must be authorized by the parents, and you must have medical release forms. You also do not have a say over the child’s finances, and your stepchildren do not have legal rights to your inheritance unless specifically noted in your will.
Ultimate judicial power belongs to the biological parents, and those without the legal right cannot get in the way of their decisions. However, if you would like to have a say in your stepchild’s schooling arrangements, financial matters, medical care, and more, in some cases, you can adopt them with the help of a family law attorney in Clearwater.
To move forward with adoption, you will need to obtain the consent of the child’s birth parents. Obtaining this consent is not always straightforward, and a lawyer can help facilitate the process. Your family law attorney in Clearwater can review your situation and help you understand how to proceed. An excellent lawyer will help you with filing a petition if the biological parent is unwilling to consent and there is reasonable cause for them to have their parental rights removed, gathering necessary documents, and going through the hearing, all the while providing counsel along the way.
Call Family Law Attorney Julie Beth Jouben, P.A.
Being able to truly call yourself your stepchild’s parent comes with more benefits than just the emotional ties. There are financial, legal, and personal benefits for both you and the children. Your family law attorney can help you answer difficult questions and create a plan that will unite you and your stepchildren in the eyes of the law. Call the law firm of Julie Beth Jouben, P.A. in Clearwater at our office to discuss stepparent adoption today.