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Stepmothers may not have parental responsibility for your Stepchildren

Mother’s Day is fast approaching on 22nd March 2020 and this day should be just as much about celebrating Stepmothers as well as Mothers!

Did you know as a Stepmother you may not have parental responsibility for your Stepchildren?

This means that you do not have an automatic right to apply to spend time with the children and you are unable make day-to-day decisions about their welfare, despite the fact that it is widely recognised that Stepmothers play an important role in the upbringing and lives of their Stepchildren.

If you are caring for a Stepchild you may wish to consider obtaining parental responsibility for the Stepchild. To obtain parental responsibility for a Stepchild you must be married to or the civil partner of a parent of a child who has parental responsibility.

As a Stepmother you can obtain parental responsibility by:

  • Entering into a parental responsibility agreement with the parents. If both parents have parental responsibility the agreement must be between you and both the child’s Mother and Father. If just the Mother has parental responsibility then the agreement must be with her.
  • Or, you could look to apply to the Court for a parental responsibility order.

If you would like advice in relation to parental responsibility or any legal issue relating to children or family matters, please contact 0117 904 6000 and ask to speak to a member of our Family team.

Posted on Mar 20th, 2020 by Lyons Davidson

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