Custody of a Non-biological Child

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Managing partner, Rick Jones, stopped by KZOK to provide divorce and family law answers on “Life Coach with Danny Bonaduce”. This episode presented an eclectic collection of questions with topics ranging from getting custody of a non-biological child (also called 3rd party custody) to investigations by Child Protective Services.

Because Goldberg Jones focuses its practice on fathers’ rights, we are no strangers to questions about child custody. The first caller asked Rick, “I am about to go through divorce, I have one biological child and one step-child. The step-child wants to live with me, will a parenting plan resolve the custody for my step-child?”

Because the stepfather has not adopted the step-child, this question becomes a matter of third party custody. Rick answers the caller’s question saying, ”the non-biological child will not be subject to the parenting plan. Ultimately if the step-child’s biological father isn’t in the picture, the best avenue to pursue would be adoption.”  Rick delved deeper into the caller’s question by inquiring about the step-child’s request to live with her stepdad by asking, “does the mother agree that that step-daughter can live with you?” The caller confirmed that this was indeed true.

Given this scenario, Rick informed the caller that if the child’s mother agreed to let the child live with her stepfather, then it is possible that an informal arrangement could be made. If the mother has custody of the child then she can grant the stepfather visitation. That visitation can be expanded to include the child living with the stepfather, by permission of the mother.

You can listen to all of Rick’s (and Danny’s) advice in the clip below.

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