Thank you for joining me. My name is LaSheena Williams and I am a Maryland family law attorney. My firm helps our clients take control of out-of-control domestic situations. Today, we will be discussing Step-parent Parental Rights in Maryland.
What Are Parental Rights?
Parental rights are the rights and duties of a parent to make decisions regarding a child’s well-being and ongoing care.
What Are My Parental Rights If I Adopt My Stepchildren in Montgomery County, Maryland and Prince George’s County, Maryland?
Custodial rights with step parents are a bit more tricky than custodial rights if you are a biological parent. If you are a step parent and you adopt your child, then that means that all of the rights attributable to a biological parent are now bestowed upon you but that also means all the duties and obligations of a custodial and biological parent are now attributable to you. For example, if you adopt your child and you and your partner get a divorce that partner can sue you for child support on behalf of that child and you would be obligated to pay that support. Also, if you have a will and you bestow certain rights to your heirs, the adopted child would be considered your heir under Maryland estate law and they would have the same rights as any biological children under Maryland estates law.
What Are My Parental Rights If I Do Not Adopt My Stepchildren?
If you marry into a family with children and you do not adopt the children, then there are certain rights and certain responsibilities that do not apply to you. Although those children may be a part of your family and you love those children, in the event of a divorce, there are certain rights that would not apply. For example, if you are divorced and you do not actually adopt the children, you do not have an ongoing obligation to pay for child support for those children. You also wouldn’t have an ongoing obligation under Maryland estates’ law to include those children in a will and they would not automatically have certain intestacy rights to your estate following your death.
Contact An Experienced Maryland Family Law Attorney Today For Your Parental Rights Case In Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, Maryland
If you are a step parent and you have concerns or questions regarding custody or other domestic related issues in Maryland, please feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel for future updates. Please also feel free contact my firm a call at (301) 778-9950 to speak with an attorney today.