Can my husband legally discipline my kids, his stepchildren?

Not physically but just tell them to behave, go to their room, etc. They live with us during the school year, stay with their dad on the weekend, and my ex husband and I share the summers.

Asked on September 6, 2015 under Family Law, Arkansas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

As long as the discipline does not constitute corporal punishment i.e. spanking, etc., he has whatever rights that you give him while your children are living with you during the school year. To the extent that you do not allow him to discipline your children, he must comply.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

This is up to you, who have parental authority and rights. If you allow him to discipline your children that is, you essentially delegate some of your authority to him, he can if you do not allow him to discipline them, he cannot, since being your spouse or a step-parent does not give him any parental rights or authority of his own.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.