Many time stepparents play key roles in the upbringing of a child, but,
they do not always have visitation rights unless they are requested and
awarded. Divorces are usually challenging and custody or visitation rights
are not always a given.
When joint custody is awarded, it allows both natural parents joint obligations
and responsibilities, and visitation. However, you may have gotten married
again, stepparents (a/k/a non-custodial parents) have no visitation rights
when the natural parent is not available. In fact, a stepparent's
visitation rights are not ordered unless requested and proven to be worthy.
If a natural parent is not present during their scheduled visitation, the
courts may decide that the child is better off with their natural parent
instead of the third party, even if it's the best stepparent in the
world regardless of the circumstances or time that stepparents has been
in the child's life. If the absence of the custodial parent is routine,
you may want to consider petitioning the court to modify the visitation
schedule to allow the stepparent visitation. Similarly, if the natural
parent specifically disallows a stepparent from visitation with the child,
nothing can be done without a modified court order granting visitation
to the non-custodial parent.
One possibility that stepparents have is that they can petition the courts
to modify the visitation rights for the child by proving why it would
behoove the court to grant you such visitation rights. It can be challenging
and there is no guarantee that the court will rule in your favor, as the
courts will consider what is best for the child.
Before petitioning the court, "standing" must be proven. In other
words, you must prove your right to be heard in court on your case. Below
- How long have you been in the child's life?
- How involved are you in the child's life?
- How close are you with the child?
- What type of support (whether financial or emotional) can provide the child?
- What harm will the child bear should you be denied visitation? How will
it affect the child?
For more information on your rights to visitation, please
contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you and advocating your every need.