Deciding to divorce your spouse is a hard and emotional decision to make. When children are involved, it makes the decision even more challenging. This decision can be even more complex if the children are not yours, and you are their step-parent. As a step-parent, you may be emotionally attached to a child or children, even though they are not biologically yours. You may have been involved in their lives for years, may have helped raise them and/or may help to support them. Many step-parents wonder if they have any visitation rights to their step children when they are divorcing in Salt Lake City, Utah. Here is what you need to know about visitation as a step-parent.
Can a Step-Parent in Utah Get Visitation Rights?
A step-parent in Utah can get visitation rights in certain cases. The Custody and Visitation for Persons Other Than Parents Act was put into place in 2008 to address this very issue. There are strict rules and guidelines that have to be met in order for a step-parent to be granted visitation rights.
What Must Be Shown in Order for a Step-Parent to Get Visitation Rights?
In order for a step-parent to obtain visitation rights, it must be shown that it is in the best interest of the child. The courts will look at different factors when determining if visitation will be granted. These factors include whether the step-parent has assumed the role and obligations of a biological parent, if the step-parent and child have formed an emotional bond, if the step-parent financially contributed to the child, whether continuing the relationship is in the child’s best interests of the child, if the loss of the relationship is detrimental to the child and if the biological parent is not involved or has been abusive or neglectful to the child. Each of these factors must be looked at and met in order to obtain visitation rights if the other party rejects you having visitation rights.
Why is It Important to Have a Family Law Attorney Help You Get Visitation Rights?
If the party you are divorcing is not agreeable to you having visitation rights with your step children, you face an uphill battle. Fighting to obtain visitation rights of children that you have helped to raise and formed an emotional attachment to is not easy. A great attorney can work with you to put together a solid case that shows why it is in the best interest of the child or children to continue to have a relationship with you. This can help you to get the visitation rights that you may be entitled to.
Obtaining visitation as a step-parent is not always an easy task, and certainly not one you should attempt to undertake on your own. Here at The Law Office of David Pedrazas, PLLC, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, we can help you if you are a step-parent looking to obtain visitation rights with your step children. Contact us today for a consultation. Let’s sit down and talk about your case and how we may be able to help. Call now to get started.