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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Step Parent Rights and Custody when a Biological Parent Dies

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Arizona and Colorado

    I am the mother of a 9 year old child. I have been in a committed relationship for 6 years and married to that man for 5 years. My child's biological father lives in another state (CO) and has seen the child a total of 14 days since the child's 2nd birthday. He is current on his child support and calls occassionally...maybe once per month for less than 5 minutes. He is allowed supervised visitation (due to domestic violence/drug issues) as of now, but has not visited the child in 4+ years. He refuses to voluntarily terminate his rights. My husband is the only person this child has in its life as a stable, loving parent. I have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and am attempting to "get my affairs in order". Is there anything I can do to help assure that my husband/step parent will assume legal/sole custody of my child after I die?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Somewhere near Canada

    Default Re: Step Parent Rights and Cystody in Arizona when Biological Mother Dies

    Your best option may be going to court and make your case that Dad's rights should be terminated as part of a stepparent adoption.

    Mom, I'm terribly sorry for your dilemma. And honestly, you need to speak to a local attorney - desperately. AZ doesn't grant stepparents many rights at all (though stepparent visitation is possible), for the most part, and while AZ does recognize the concept of the de facto parent, current case law indicates that this is applied more commonly to LGBT couples rather than hetero couples.

    (The reason being, that the hetero stepparent has another remedy available - that of visitation).

    Please, speak with a local attorney. I feel a stepparent adoption (four years of not visiting his child might convince a court) might be your best, and easiest, option. That would mean that your husband is your child's legal parent. Your ex - Dad - would have no rights or obligations at all.

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