What are my rights to visitation ifI am not the biological father?

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What are my rights to visitation ifI am not the biological father?

I married a woman that had a 1 1/2 year old. I never adopted her and her biological father is a dead beat. She is now 9 1/2. She looks at me as dad and I she as my daughter. With an impending divorce, what rights would I have to visitation, if any?

Asked on August 7, 2011 Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You sound like a good guy and she has been lucky to have you in her life for these years.  But generally speaking, step parents can only obtain rights to custody and visitation in extreme and unique circumstances.  I would speak with an attorney on your behalf.  When you say that her father is a "dead beat" do you mean that he does not pay child support and that you have supported the child all these years?  Do you plan on continuing t do so even though you have no real legal obligation to do so?  If you do and you wish to ask for continued visitation I would think that would be reasonable.  But if your wife refuses to allow you you may be stuck.  Good luck to you.


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