Do I have any legal rights as a stepparent after my divorce?

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2011

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Do I have any legal rights as a stepparent after my divorce?

I’ve been married for 9 years and the acting father figure in my daughter’s (technically my stepdaughter) life since she was only a year old and she’s now 14. My wife is pursuing divorce and I don’t want it. She claims that she won’t keep me from still being the acting father in my little girl’s life but I fear that may not come true if she wins and gets approved divorce. Do I as a loving parent have any rights? Does my daughter have the right to be heard in court about it?

Asked on September 15, 2011 under Family Law, Maine


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You sound like a great guy and your daughter is lucky to have you in her life.  Unfortunately though, step parent shave no rights to visitation after divorce if the natural parent chooses to block you seeing each other.  Her being 14 is a plus and she may be able to request that the court listen to her, but they are not under any obligation to order the visitation.  I can, see, one way though to have things swing in your way.  Are you planning on paying child support? You have no legal obligation to do so but your voluntarily doing so could sway the court in your favor.  Good luck to you.  

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