It is commonplace for divorced couples to set up home with a new partner. In many cases, this is beneficial for the child – once they get used to the change – as it helps to provide a stable family environment. But no matter how closely a step-parent becomes involved in the lives of their partner’s child, or how much they contribute to their upbringing, a step-parent does not automatically gain parental responsibility over the child.
This is particularly relevant when it comes to the day-to-day care of step-children. For instance, if a step-parent is looking after a step-child during the school holidays and the step-child becomes involved in an accident and needs urgent medical treatment, the step-parent cannot give consent for such treatment. The consent can only be given by someone with parental responsibility.
If a step-parent wishes to gain parental responsibility over a step-child, there are several options open to them. They may, for example, choose to adopt their step-child. Doing so will enable them to step into the shoes of a natural parent and assume all rights and responsibilities of a natural parent.
Alternatively, a step-parent can also gain some rights by applying to Court to be appointed as a Legal Guardian to their step-child.
Call us at 62203400 for a consultation if you are looking for ways to become more involved in the care of your step-child. Our lawyers at Yeo Law will help you understand the various options open to you, along with the consequences of each. .