The Hawkins Law Firm
256.571.2829

408-A Gunter Avenue
Guntersville, AL 35976

256.799.0224

7027 Old Madison Pike, NW Suite 108
Huntsville, AL 35806

256.586.4510

942 N. Main Street
Arab, AL 35016

Step-Parents Rights in Alabama

In Alabama and throughout the rest of the country, courts are often asked to resolve complicated family law matters, which include sensitive issues involving the relationship between step-parents and children.  Specifically, courts are asked to determine step-parents’ rights both when it comes to adoption both during marriage to and after a divorce from the child or children’s biological parent.  Although each case is different, there are a few general rules which judges in Alabama follow when determining how to rule in a case involving step-parents’ rights.

Adoption

In Alabama, courts may allow a step-parent to adopt a child under specific circumstances.  These types of adoptions will usually only be awarded if the child’s other biological parent has died or otherwise given up there parental rights.  Courts may take away a biological parent of their parental rights if they are deemed unfit to care for the child.

Divorce

After a divorce, the rules of concerning the governance of custody of the child are similar to those used to award or deny adoption.  Although it doesn’t happen often, a step-parent may seek custody rights if the child’s other biological parent has died or otherwise relinquished parental responsibilities.  If the child’s other biological parent is still alive and an active part of the child’s life, the former step-parent may still seek to be granted visitation rights from the court.  Usually, the former step-parent is only granted visitation rights if they can show that they were an influential individual in the child’s life.

Although these are the general rules involving step-parents’ rights in Alabama, each decision is made on a case-by-case basis.  In family law situations involving children, the best interest of the child is the over-riding factor which determines how a decision is made.  If you or someone you know is involved in a legal case involving the rights of a step-parent, contact Arab-based family law attorney Lana Hawkins for consultation.

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