Can I get visitation right to my stepchildren even though I am not their biological mother, since I am their only mother they know?

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Can I get visitation right to my stepchildren even though I am not their biological mother, since I am their only mother they know?

I am currently divorcing my husband who I have been married to for 2 years but with for 4 years. He has 2 boys from a previous marriage; my stepchildren are ages are almost 5 and 7. Their biological mother died over 3 years ago. I have been in their lives for the majority of their lives and the youngest child only knows me as his mother. My ex is trying to keep the boys from me but I only want visitation with them.

Asked on July 9, 2015 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Actually you may have visitation rights. This is especially true since you have been in your stepchildren's lives from such an early age and you are their only living mother figure. However, this is a hotty contested issue and the law varies from state-to-state. At this point, you should consult directly with a local attorney who specializes in child custody/visitation cases.

In the meantime, here is a link to a site that will provide more information:

https://family-law.freeadvice.com/family-law/child_custody/stepparent-child-visitation.htm


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