Blog

Tag Archives: stepparent adoption

DuPage County family law attorneysAs a parent, you will always want what is best for your child. By law, you also have a number of rights and responsibilities related to his or her upbringing and support. Exercising your parental rights can be challenging in the wake of divorce, especially if your ex-spouse has been allocated a majority of the parenting time and decision-making authority. When your ex-spouse gets remarried, your situation can become even more challenging, especially if his or her new partner expresses interest in legally adopting your child. If you are concerned about your parental rights being threatened, there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself.

Stepparent Adoption Requires Consent

In order for your ex’s new spouse to adopt your child, in most situations, you must grant voluntary consent. This means that you willingly terminate your parental rights and responsibilities for your child, as the law permits a person to have only two legal parents. A stepparent adoption is not a mere formality; it expressly transfers full parental authority and creates a legal parent-child relationship between your son or daughter and the stepparent.

It is your choice whether to grant your consent to a stepparent adoption. If you agree to it, you will no longer have any legal standing to request visitation or to make decisions regarding your child. Your ex-spouse and his or her new spouse may allow you to remain a part of the child’s life, but the court cannot force them to do so. If you refuse to consent, the case is all but closed. Your refusal can only be overridden by a finding that you are an unfit parent, and the involuntary termination of your parental rights.

...
Continue reading

DuPage County family law attorneyStepfamilies are becoming more and more common in the United States as the divorce rate remains high. While in many cases, the ex-spouse (or other biological parent) will continue to be involved in the lives of his or her children after divorce, sometimes the ex-spouse simply vanishes or passes on. For whatever reason, if one parent ceases to play a role in the lives of his or her children, a stepparent may be able to legally step into that role by adopting the children.

When Is Stepparent Adoption Permissible?

There are several points that any stepparent must consider in order to legally adopt his or her partner’s children. First, they must be legally married to the children’s biological mother or father. Up until a couple years ago, this applied to opposite-sex couples only, but it now applies to same-sex couples as well. Second, the law does not permit a child to have any more than two legal parents. In other words, your partner’s ex-spouse must either be deceased, vanished, or otherwise agree to sign away his or her parental rights, in order for you to be able to adopt the child. If the child is over the age of 14, he or she must also give consent, and this is taken seriously. Without it, the adoption will not go forward.

...
Continue reading

DuPage County family law attorneysIf you are a divorced parent, it can be challenging at times to maintain a healthy close relationship with your child when you have limited parenting time and relatively few parental responsibilities. Your bond with your child can be even further strained if your former spouse decides to remarry. Many parents are willing to endure the new challenges because the child may experience a renewed sense of security and stability as a result of the remarriage.  But, what if the other parent’s new spouse expresses interest in legally adopting your child? Do you know what your rights would be in such a situation?

Divorcing Parents

According to the law in Illinois, a child can have only two legal parents. When a child is born to a married couple, each spouse is presumed to be the child’s legal parent unless there a reason to believe otherwise—a paternity action filed by a third party, for example. A divorce does not alter either spouse’s status as the child’s legal parent. When a divorced parent remarries, his or her new spouse is not automatically afforded any parental rights or responsibilities under the law. He or she may be the de facto head of the household and act as a parental figure, but those are practical concerns and not legal considerations.

...
Continue reading

Illinois family law attorney, adopting a stepchildFor some families, it may be desirable for a stepparent to formally adopt a stepchild. The process for adopting a stepchild differs in many respects from other adoptions. While the process for adopting a stepchild can be faster, there are also important consequences and issues to consider. Often, the most significant hurdle to adopting a stepchild is obtaining the consent to the adoption by the other biological parent.

Process for Adoption

Under Illinois law, adopting a stepchild is completed through a process called related child adoption. A related child is one who has a certain relationship with a prospective adoptive parent, including adoptions where the parent is a stepparent. Related child adoptions differ in various ways from adoptions in which no such relationship exists between the adopting parents and the child to be adopted.

...
Continue reading

stepparent IMAGE

If you are the parent of stepchildren and are worried about filing for divorce in Illinois because of what might happen to your relationship with your stepchildren, you'll be happy to know that, under certain circumstances, a stepparent may be able to get visitation or custody rights.

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows stepparents to file for custody of their step children in certain cases. In order to commence a custody proceeding of stepchildren, the following conditions must be met:

...
Continue reading

Recent Blog Posts

Archives

250 W. River Drive, Unit 2A
St. Charles, IL 60174
630-665-7300
Evening and weekend hours by appointment.

From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

Make a Payment
© 2020 Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC | 1737 South Naperville Road, Suite 100, Wheaton, IL 60189 | 630-665-7300
Kane County | Disclaimer Privacy Policy | Resources Sitemap
Take me to top
OVC, INC
Giving Back
Contact Us
Giving Back
Contact Us

In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree