Parental rights for Step Parents?(14 Posts)
My husband has been 'dad' to my kids since they were 3 and 1, he's always been a 'proper' dad to them and come along to all their sports days, parents evenings etc.
They see their biological dad every other weekend, but this was pretty patchy and sporadic until the last couple of years as they've got older and therefore considerably easier to look after.
My question is, how would I go about getting some legal rights for my husband? We had this discussion the other night when one of them hurt himself, my husband was reluctant to do the 'A&E run' as he has no legal right to make to make medical decisions.
Any advice gratefully received.
You can get parental responsibility for him, my Dp is thinking about applying for this for me- for dsd 3, in case anything was to happen to him- our situation is a bit different though.
Ask for that free hour you can get with a family lawyer and get some info. You make an application to court first then you go through the process.
I think everyone with parental responsibility has to agree, so talk to your ex and see if he would be ok with it- your ex would not loose any rights at all, but your dh would gain the rights you both have as a 3rd 'parent'. But you can still take it to court if your ex says no- but you have to prove it is your childs best interests. So if your dp is regularly left alone with your children- so he may at some point have to take them to a & e and you want him to be able to give consent.
For us, I think we will have contest the Mum's opinion as she kicked up a bit when dp was advised to get a residency order for her for him- which she consented to as ss told her it was necessary. We will probably wait another year before we apply for it as dsd has only lived with us about 8 months now. Our argument that it is in her interest is that a. I often am alone with her b. she was moved to us by ss and cannot live with her mum so if anything happened to dp, he wants it set in stone that she would live with me and the baby I'm carrying as he doesn't want her in care.
The children have two parents that are both involved, I'm not sure it's necessary for a step parent to have PR in that instance. It's not really about having rights, it's about responsibility to the child and making decisions on their behalf, and with two parents around they do that. I certainly wouldn't agree to xh's partner having it, there's absolutely no need.
If he is the one to take the child to the hospital, then you could be contacted if a decision were needed to be made, and it sounds like you were actually available to go with your child in the example you've given.
As a SP who frequently has sole responsibilty for dsd, and knowing that dsds step dad also often has sole responsibility, I looked into this, for curiosities sake.
I concluded that if either of us step-parents had to take her to hospital in an emergency, then one of her actual parents would probably be contactable. And if they weren't, and it was a life or death situation, the medics would simply act in the childs best interests. And if not life or death, well then the decision could wait a bit longer.
Sometimes this isn't the case... what If your phone runs out of battery. My friends daughter tore her achilies tendon when with her step dad he took her to a and e, her mum was a 4 hour train ride away and they wouldn't treat her until she got there to sign the paper work -.-
Their biological dad lives over 2 hours away. DH is often the one picking them up from clubs and going to parents evenings etc. My point is, to all intents and purposes he IS their dad, and much more so than exH. They've called DH dad for 7 years now and chose to use his surname at school when we got married, back then exH didn't see them very often.
Although it doesn't seem neccessary to give him legal parental responsibility, they'll always be that one time I can't be contacted. Also, I want him to have more rights to make it clearer that if anything were to happen to me, he's who I'd intend my kids to be brought up by.
Lillypie, there are provisions that can be put in place if that's what you want. Have you thought of writing a will and stating that should anything happen then you'd wish them to stay with your DH?
I'm not saying that they'd get to stay with your DH if something were to happen to you but it would carry some weight. Especially if it's something you expressed on paper. Plus the fact that he's been a figure in their lives for so long (playing such a big part) and leaving the family home to move 2 hours away would be too much upheaval and change.
If he's their everyday dad and bio dad is more of an uncle I would def apply for PR.
Thanks, we have a form to fill in, unfortunately it does require both myself and bio dad to sign to agree that my husband can be granted PR. I doubt he's going to sign it
My brother has gained PR of his kids (once his stepkids), but I believe it was a bit of a battle as their bio dad was awkward about it even though he did actually want to be a dad to them. I know that doesn't help but it can happen so don't lose hope...
even though he didn't want to be a dad to them.
I would hope their bio dad would see it as in the kids best interests, because my husband is a fully fledged dad to them to all intents and purposes. I want him to have PR so it gives him some rights and puts him 'higher' than a step dad. I'd certainly want the kids to stay with him if I died.
I don't think PR would mean he'd automatically get them if you died. The only way you could assure that is if he adopted them.
It wouldn't, but it would prove to a Judge that he's been more than a step dad. Plus they'd be better off with him, attending their local schools with all their friends, than having to move 2.5 hours away and not knowing anyone.
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