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What is the law when seperated from the step parent please?

(30 Posts)
Anothernamechanger1 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:38:16

If you are married so your 'spouse' is your children's step parent and you permanently seperate, does the step parent, who has no contact with the DC, still have parental rights?

Tia

sleepyMe12 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:40:07

I'm probably completely wrong but would the step parent have to adopt the child for parental responsibility?

user1471734618 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:41:38

only if they have officially adopted the children.
Is someone trying to tell you otherwise?

gettingtherequickly Mon 05-Sep-16 08:42:16

You have to adopt to have parental rights.

user1471734618 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:42:42

there is no such thing as 'parental rights' btw.
Children have rights, parents have responsibilities.

Anothernamechanger1 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:44:02

I thought that when you got married your spouse had parental responsibility over the children? I'm sure I read that on here? He isn't remotely interested in me let alone them and was going to put off the divorce for now as I have too much else to cope with but I don't want him having any 'claim' to them in any way? I had a bad time with DC birth dad and that divorce and it was horrific, I think I'm just badly burnt from that so I need to make sure I'm covering all basis and my own back!

Anothernamechanger1 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:44:43

Yes I beg your par den, I meant parental responsibilities.

user1471734618 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:46:27

How long were you married?
Did he spend a lot of time looking after the children?
Nobody can come and 'claim' children if they have nothing to do with them.

Anothernamechanger1 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:51:18

Married 11 months, he didn't look after them. I did everything child related.

Berthatydfil Mon 05-Sep-16 08:52:05

Disclaimer - I'm not a solicitor

I don't think there is such a thing as parental rights there is parental responsibility which is conferred on the mother by birth and father by being married to the mother or by being on the birth cert or by a legal process after birth or by adoption (both parents)
If the child has both parents then they would have retained their parental responsibility (if they had it originally) even if they separated /married other people unless one of them relinquished pr or the child was adopted by the step parent.

If however a child had a close relationship with a step child ie brought them up from birth for many years and the relationship then broke down I think they could probably apply to the court for contact in the same way as a grandparent may.

However if they have never had PR then I doubt they could apply after a relationship broke down and therefore probably couldn't influence choice of school consent to medical treatments etc. If they did have PR they might be able to though.

You haven't given much other info as to the context and which party you are so you may wish to seek legal advice.

user1471734618 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:53:39

from what you are saying, your fears sound groundless.

Berthatydfil Mon 05-Sep-16 08:55:39

Ah ok cross posting.
I would say your ex the child's "natural" father still has PR unless it was removed.
Has he ever applied legally for PR during the relationship?

Anothernamechanger1 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:58:03

Berth, the children are mine. He is/was step father.

What about things like for example one of the DC were involved with the attendance board through school and even though I dealt with them solely they said they had to address a letter and send one to me and to their step dad as he was legally liable aswell (worded in a better way than that obviously) so I guess what I need to know, if we are still legally married is he still responsible/get the correspondence etc? Or is us being seperated 'enough' to severe that tie? (Iv used the attendance board as an example)

StarOnTheTree Mon 05-Sep-16 09:08:03

My XH claimed all the rights to DD1 through court so regular access and also her passport taken when he claimed I was a flight risk I wasn't

Her biological fathet wasn't on the scene but since she did actually have one the court said that he didn't have to take any financial responsibility for her. I wasn't bothered about him having the rights but bloody hell make him take responsibility for her too. You can't have it both ways. Well you can if you're a middle class white male with plenty of money for lawyers hmm

He wasn't interested in either child, it was just another way to control me.

AlfrescoBalconyWanker Mon 05-Sep-16 09:43:25

www.gov.uk/parental-rights-responsibilities/apply-for-parental-responsibility

Unless he applied for PR and was granted it, then he doesn't have it.

Anothernamechanger1 Mon 05-Sep-16 09:46:51

No he never applied, thank you alfresco

user1471734618 Mon 05-Sep-16 09:49:07

Could the attendance board have been mistaken?

Anothernamechanger1 Mon 05-Sep-16 09:52:53

I don't know but that's what they told me when they first sat down with me a while ago to discuss school? Iv emailed them this morning stating Iv legally changed my name back and to remove him off DC file as he has nothing to do with them.... I'm hoping that's enough.

user1471734618 Mon 05-Sep-16 09:55:27

well in that case, then even someone's lodger would be responsible for school attendance....
surely someone was mistaken.

prh47bridge Mon 05-Sep-16 12:48:42

I thought that when you got married your spouse had parental responsibility over the children

That only applies to the children's biological father. A step parent can only get PR through a formal agreement or a court order.

Even without PR he could still have been fined if your children did not attend school. However, now that you have separated he should not be chased for any further school fines.

well in that case, then even someone's lodger would be responsible for school attendance

No, only the child's parents. That includes step parents regardless of whether or not they have PR.

crusoe16 Wed 07-Sep-16 10:30:41

*well in that case, then even someone's lodger would be responsible for school attendance

No, only the child's parents. That includes step parents regardless of whether or not they have PR*

Seriously??? I'm presuming just the SP who is married to the RP. Or is it DF, DM and potentially both SP's that are responsible? I had no idea!

prh47bridge Wed 07-Sep-16 10:54:17

I'm presuming just the SP who is married to the RP

The relevant law just says "parents" and does not define the term. It also makes them liable for non-attendance even if they are not aware that the child is not attending. Some LAs will only fine the parent with care, some will also include the NRP. If the parents remarry some LAs will fine the step-parent married to the parent with care. I don't know of any that would fine a step-parent married to the NRP but legally they would appear to have the power to do so.

crusoe16 Wed 07-Sep-16 11:03:15

Wow. Thanks for clarifying. Not that it's a concern atm. Thankfully SC and DC are all quite keen on school....

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Wed 07-Sep-16 11:07:38

Being married to someone with kids DOES NOT give you parental responsibility unless you both went to court to obtain it.

prh47bridge Wed 07-Sep-16 11:16:29

Being married to someone with kids DOES NOT give you parental responsibility unless you both went to court to obtain it

If you are the biological father of the child you automatically get PR if you marry the mother.

In England and Wales a step parent can obtain PR by getting a court order or by entering into a PR agreement with everyone who has PR. In Scotland I believe step parents always need to get a court order to obtain PR.

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