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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12132
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I am divorced with 2 children. Ages 11 and 15. My divorce

Customer Question

I am divorced with 2 children. Ages 11 and 15. My divorce has been final for 6 1/2 years. I have sole legal and sole physical custody. My ex-husband has visitation. I have been in a relationship for 7 years and my children are close to my S.O. He has been living with us for just over 2 years. I am having a major surgery in a month and a half. I am trying to find out if my S.O. would have a better chance of getting physical and legal custody of my children if we get married now. (I didn't want to get married again but am concerned if the outcome of the surgery is not good for my children). The argument is that my children will remain in their home (have lived her all their lives), their schools, their neighborhood, with their doctors, dentists, sports, etc. and my S.O. as having been with them so long/so much. I am not sure if marriage would strengthen the argument. If so, is it too close to the surgery to matter or does the timing not matter, just the legality of him being their step-father vs. my S.O.?
Thank you
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.Unfortunately, outside of a step-parent adoption (which your ex would have to consent to) your significant other would have little chance of get legal or physical custody of your children. Your ex-husband's rights have not been terminated, and from a legal standpoint, step-parents have few rights to non-biological children. Whether you decide to marry him before your surgery or after therefore would not change these circumstances. Once you marry, you could petition the court to modify the custody agreement to grant your S.O. custody rights, but this is rarely done, and would require a showing of extraordinary circumstances. While that isn't defined legally, extraordinary circumstances would mean mean something very significant - like that your ex physically and/or sexually abused your children, or that he has completely abandoned them.Bot***** *****ne - stepparents get little respect under the law! They can act like parents and take the place of a biological parent, but outside of a legal adoption, the law doesn't recognize them as such (and I have personal experience with this, as I am a stepparent myself).I'm sorry I couldn't tell you otherwise. I hope your surgery goes well and you heal quickly. If you need clarification or additional information, please reply and I'm happy to assist further. Otherwise, kindly remember to leave a positive rating by clicking on the stars/happy faces before signing out, so I am credited for my time and assistance today. Thank you!