Being a stepparent can become a complicated matter when legal issues regarding the child in question arise. In some cases you may wish to seek legal guardianship. It is important that you hire a Bryan family lawyer when doing so.
Guardianship of a Stepchild
Because you are not the biological parent, the legal power of the actual parents supersedes yours. If the welfare of the stepchild becomes an issue, this fact can complicate matters. Petitioning the Texas family court to grant you guardianship may be your best alternative.
When you become the guardian, you assume the same responsibilities that a biological parent has. You will be required to provide for the child financially, for its schooling, for medical decisions, and more. You will most likely need to prove in court that the biological parents are in some way unfit. Among reasons the court may recognize are:
- The biological parent is incarcerated.
- The child is being abused or neglected by the biological parent.
- The biological parent can no longer provide proper care for the child, such as due to a severe medical condition.
It is possible to obtain temporary guardianship of a stepchild as well. Generally such an arrangement is made when neither biological parent will be able to care for the child for a limited time.
The first step in the process is to request a petition for either temporary or permanent guardianship from the clerk of the court in the district where the child lives. You will need to offer a reasonable argument for the judge to approve the petition. It is possible that the judge will require an investigation into the matter to ensure that the reason given is valid and/or the child’s home is not safe. You will need to obtain a date for a court hearing, at which time the judge will review your petition and render a final decision. Make sure that you have both made copies of the petition and accompanying documentation, and also have served the respondent, who is the biological parent in question.
For further Information or Legal Assistance
The court will be disinclined to approve an application for guardianship of a stepchild unless a strong argument can be made by the petitioner. Remember that Texas courts always hold the best interests of the child as top priority. You should consider hiring a Texas family lawyer to represent you. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.