Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.
Unfortunately, she cannot. You can petition for custody of your step-child, but I would say those cases are not typical. The biological father has a legal right to custody of the child, and as a minor your stepdaughter doesn't get to decide who she wants to live with. In order to get custody, you'd have to provide the court with overwhelming reason for why you should be granted custody (e.g., he's abusive, neglectful, etc). Another option may be to petition for visitation. Factors a court will consider on a petition by a third party to seek visitation time include, but are not limited to:
- The degree of significant participation in the life of the child, including length of time stepparent may have stood in as the de facto parent;
- The existence of an emotional relationship between the stepparent and stepchild
- The degree of financial assistance provided by the stepparent;
- Detriment to the child if visitation is denied.
When seeking visitation, a third party must show reasons to overcome the parent's prima facie right to uninterrupted custody. In a visitation case, the third party need only convince the court that it is in the child's best interest to give some time to the third party. As the amount of time requested moves the visit further from a visit and closer to custody, the reasons offered in support of the request must become correspondingly more convincing.
Please remember to kindly leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars, as that is the only way experts are paid for their time even though you may have already paid a deposit to the site. Follow-up questions asked in this thread do not cost anything additional after leaving a positive rating.
If you need clarification about my answer or additional information, please use the SEND or REPLY button to continue our conversation. Your satisfaction is my goal and I am here to help!