Stepparents play an important part in their stepchild’s welfare, support, and well-being. They help with their educational needs, be involved in various extracurricular activities, provide care for the child at home, fulfill the family’s needs, and oversee many medical decisions. When everything is going smoothly, there may be virtually no difference between your child’s biological parent and their stepparent.
However, when problems emerge, it brings up the question of whether stepparents have legal rights to their stepchild in Michigan. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Michigan as a stepparent is not considered a legal guardian. In Michigan, courts typically won’t grant any legal bearing to a bond between a stepparent and stepchild unless there was a stepparent adoption. This can become problematic in many situations.
Stepparent adoption is a legal process allowing your current partner to adopt your biological child. If you adopt as a stepparent, you agree to become the legal parent to your spouse’s child and to be fully responsible for them. After the adoption occurs, the noncustodial parent (the parent not living with the child) no longer has rights or responsibilities for the child, including child support. There are several complex areas of law that can impact how your case will go. As your attorneys we will guide you through the process in an efficient manner and will maximize the possibility of a positive outcome for you.
In Michigan, only married stepparents may adopt a stepchild. While the adoption process in Michigan can be difficult and a long process, it is not usually as long and arduous for stepparents. As many stepparents have already formed a relationship with their stepchild and want to make their family status permanent. It is of extreme importance to have an attorney to guide you through the process of adopting your stepchild, as adoption involves many complex laws of which many people are often unaware.