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Legal rights of a step-parent

(8 Posts)
boomoohoo Wed 05-Feb-14 07:34:53

If any?

I was just pondering this.. I have a dp who is the step - father to my dd. we are not married, but live together. Dd lives with us 6 days out of 7, she goes to her dads house one night a week.

If anything were to happen to me, would he have any parental rights?

Frogbyanothername Wed 05-Feb-14 07:42:00

No parental Rights, but as he has lived with your DC for two years, he has the 'right' to apply to court for a contact order with your DC without first having to seek the courts permission to apply.

If you were married, he'd have that right for any DCs that have been treated as a child of the family - even if they are non-resident.

boomoohoo Wed 05-Feb-14 09:13:25

Thank you.. So if we were married, would he get a right to apply (to court for contact) or a right to contact..? And does that basically mean its granted? And how much does (ea) ex have a say? (Ex is on birth cert but we never married)

Frogbyanothername Wed 05-Feb-14 09:35:01

There is no guarantee that he'd get contact - he'd have to prove, in court, that it was in your DCs best interests.

If your ex has PR, then he would automatically be considered regarding residency of your DC - but if there has been very little contact it is quite possible that someone else would be awarded residency (and PR); particularly if there are other DCs in your household.

Your ex will always have PR though and were you to die, whoever has residency/PR of your DCs would be expected to respect his role in their life.

I know it is possible for you to record your wishes for the DCs too which aren't legally binding but can be considered by a court - could you have a chat with a solicitor?

purpleroses Wed 05-Feb-14 09:53:11

I think it depends on whether your Ex has PR for your DD or not (he's likely to have it if she was born after about 2003 when the law changed - and named on birth cert, or if he has a court order)

If he doesn't you can leave a will that says you leave your DP to be DD's legal guardian (and your ex would have to challenge this through the courts to change it) whereas if your ex has PR and he survives you then I think he is automatically DD's legal guardian (unless your DP challenges it successfully through courts)

Kaluki Wed 05-Feb-14 10:27:03

My ex tried to get a contact order to see my DC when we split after 5 years (he isn't their dad). I was amazed that the court actually took it seriously but apparently he was entitled to apply.
When I told them about how both kids were terrified of him after they had seen him assault me and showed them the restraining order they changed their mind but they amended the restraining order to say he could make indirect contact with them (eg christmas & birthday cards sent to them via a third party)
Needless to say he has never sent them a thing!

lostdad Sun 09-Feb-14 18:55:21

As it stands he has no rights. In the even of your death he could apply for parental responsibility however.

To gain this he'd have to demonstrate that he's had a lot of involvement with your DD.

You can also add into your will the proviso that he gets PR in the event of your death.

bumbumsmummy Sun 09-Feb-14 19:09:22

You can't write out your EX in a will he will always have PR unless the court states otherwise

Your DP can always apply for contact even if you appoint him your child's legal guardian that would be superseded by the surviving parent, the only way to change this is for your DP to adopt your child n then no question he would have parental rights

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