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Divorce and Family Law

Step Parent Rights

Being a step parent does not automatically impose any rights or obligations in respect of the child

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No matter what you might have been told, being a step parent does not automatically impose any rights or obligations in respect of the child of the other partner in the relationship. The birth parents of any children of the family are the ones that retain “Parental Responsibility” and therefore have the right to say in the upbringing of the children of the family, in the same way as you retain “Parental Responsibility” of your own children with your former partner, being the other parent.

As a step parent, you do not have Parental Responsibility for a child of your partner, regardless of how much involvement you have in the day-to-day care of the child you have, or whether you make a financial contribution to a child’s upbringing.

Parental Responsibility

Obtaining Parental Responsibility may be important if you have day-to-day care of your partner’s children, especially if your partner might not be around for periods of time and another person needs to be available to make important decisions.  In an emergency, for example, consent may be required to give medical treatment to a child.  In practice, most step parents wouldn’t need to share Parental Responsibility as they act under that responsibility delegated by their partner, the parent of the child.

Bearing this in mind, if you are a step parent and are unsure of your position, you may find it useful to speak to one of our experienced family lawyers first. Call 03333 058375, or email family@psg-law.co.uk

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Meet the Team

  • Nicholas Clough

    Partner, Head of Divorce & Family Law

    Nicholas Clough

    t:07538 385956

    e: nicholas.clough@psg-law.co.uk

  • Jackie Rawcliffe

    Consultant, Divorce & Family Law

    Jackie Rawcliffe

    t:01244 956686

    e: jackie.rawcliffe@psg-law.co.uk

  • Carole Nettleton

    Consultant, Divorce & Family Law

    Carole Nettleton

    t:07958 028069

    e: carole.nettleton@psg-law.co.uk

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