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What Legal Rights Does A Stepparent Have Before And After A Divorce In Florida?

Being a stepparent is almost never an easy job. A lot of issues can arise between the parents, the stepparents, and the children, that may seem difficult or impossible to solve. Stepparents may become very attached to their stepchildren, which can make it very tough if a divorce occurs.

Before a divorce, a stepparent does not legally have any rights to a stepchild. A stepparent cannot legally make decisions about a stepchild, such as where he lives or what school he attends. A stepparent can, however, be involved in a stepchild’s life - for example, a stepparent can go to a stepchild’s doctor’s appointment with a parent or attend parent-teacher conferences for a stepchild, unless there is a court order directing against it.

After a divorce, a stepparent basically has no legal rights to a child. Despite the fact you may have formed a very strong bond with your stepchildren, you do not have any legal rights to the child. If you want visitation with your stepchild after your divorce, the easiest way to get it would be to attempt to work something out with your ex. Explain that it will only hurt the child for your relationship to be completely severed, and try to work out an easy solution. If your ex will not agree to allow you to see your stepchildren after the divorce, you could consider asking a court to allow you visitation since you have been in the role of parent to the child- however, this would most likely be a difficult battle since most courts do not recognize stepparents’ rights.

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