Stepparent Attorney, Idaho
When it comes to marriages when a spouse already has children, there are a few things to consider that come with their own unique challenges and complications. One of these challenges can be the issue of child adoption. With divorces becoming more common in the U.S. there are plenty of stepparents raising children that aren’t biologically their own. While the relationship between a stepparent and a child can have the same feel as any biological parent-to-child relationship, it doesn’t carry the same legal status. That’s why enlisting the help of a stepparent attorney in Idaho is crucial.
Why is Having the Legal Status of a Biological Parent Crucial?
There are certain advantages you’ll obtain by having the biological status of a parent. These advantages include:
- Being able to make major decisions for the stepchild including health care, education, and legal issues.
- Help to cement the emotional connection between the parent and stepchild.
- Allows the child to inherit money or assets from the stepparent in the same manner as if the relationship was biological.
- If the couple divorces, the stepparent will have the legal right to seek visitation rights and custody rights.
What a Stepparent Needs in Order to Adopt the Child
There are a few things that a stepparent needs before they can adopt a child. In most cases, this process can easily happen when the biological parent (such as the married spouse) consents to the stepparent adopting the child. If the stepparent doesn’t have consent from the biological parent then the process is more difficult and will likely need the assistance of a stepparent attorney in Idaho.
The only other way for the stepparent to adopt the child in the case where there isn’t consent is when the biological parent’s rights are terminated. While there are cases where the biological parent willingly terminates their rights without litigation, this is extremely rare. In most cases, the biological parent must be demonstrated to be unfit to take care of the child. Some arguments for this may include the following:
- Inability or willful failure to support the child.
- Extreme negligence, including the abandonment of the child.
- A general unfitness to be a parent.
Terminating a biological parent’s rights is not something to be taken lightly. Additionally, there are some cases where adoption without termination is a better alternative even when the biological parent is unfit. The reason for this is that termination cuts off certain obligations of the biological parent including not having to make child support payments. That’s why it’s always important for both parties to discuss their options as amicably as possible. If there is major contention and the conflict can’t be resolved even after having a third-party mediator intervening, then this is a clear sign that having an experienced attorney on your side may be necessary.
Contact a Qualified Attorney Today
As a stepparent, you may determine that you can better take care of your child by officially adopting them. However, this can be a complicated process. That’s why having a stepparent attorney in Idaho can help tremendously. Reach out to Taylor Law & Mediation PLLC today to get started!