My friend has a 11 year old daughter, she has been divorced from the father for 2 years. He has subsequently married and his new wife is claiming she has legal rights over the daughter due to the marriage. I believe this to be incorrect and that she would have to adopt the daughter legally which would require the Mothers agreement. What is the legal position of the new wife and of the mother?
Province/Country relating to question : England
First attempt at an answer, my friend has just been informed by her ex that his new wife is to make decisions about her daughter, no previous agreement was made to relinquish any rights, but agreement was made for the daughter to live with the father due to a bout of poor health by the mother.
HIHow long has the Child lived with her father and his wife and what decisions are we talking about?Claire
About 10 months as a married couple. Visitation rights of the daughter to her mother for holidays etc. To date these have been done on a mutual verbal agreement. The father has a property with three bedrooms which he share with his new wife and 6 month old son (half brother to daughter), the mother one with two and she shares that with her 3 year old son (again half brother different father). I am a friend and not romantically involved with the mother.
HIAnd the type of decisions?Claire
Visitation rights of the daughter to her mother for holidays etc.
Essentially the daughter stated that her new stepmother (she has been told to call her that) doesn't want her to spend anymore Christmas Days with her biological mother. My friend confirmed this with the Father by phone and he is belligerent that the his new wife has full parental control over the daughter despite no formal agreement from the Mother. The original verbal agreement was for the daughter to spend alternate Christmas days/Boxing days at her Mothers and then at her Fathers.
HiIn fact the stepmother has no Parental Responsibility for the Child - but clearly since she has her daily care she does have a role to play in terms of every day decisions.She does not however have any right to dictate contact terms and if the parents cannot agree on the matter your friend will have to apply to the courts for a defined contact order which sets out the alternating Christmas patternClaire
25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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