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What Happens to Biological Father’s Rights after Stepfather Adoption?

A child can have only two legal parents. Since a child cannot legally have three parents, the legal parent will have to voluntarily give up their rights. If a child is adopted by their stepfather, the biological father’s rights as a parent will be legally terminated. If the biological father wants any rights with his child, including visitation rights, he should not consent to his child’s adoption by someone else. A biological father has stronger legal rights over his child than the child’s stepdad. The law will favor biological fathers over stepfathers. Stepfathers have various options available to strengthen their rights to a stepchild. For instance, stepfathers can obtain a power of attorney from their stepchild’s biological father, put their stepchild into their will and other estate planning documents, and legally adopting your stepchild. If a couple has been together for a while and the father feel his spouse’s children are really his own, he may want to legalize that bond by adopting the step child. A stepparent’s adoption of the stepchild is one of the most common forms of adoption.If he adopts the step child, he becomes a legal parent to the child in every way. The child can inherit from the parent, the parent could seek custody in case of a divorce, and the parent can make serious decisions about the child’s life regarding things like schooling and health care. Some step parents choose to adopt the step children in order to solidify their family bond. If the stepfather wishes to adopt the step children and the other biological parent is still alive, the couple will have...
Will Unpaid Child Support Appear on my Credit Report?

Will Unpaid Child Support Appear on my Credit Report?

Credit reporting agencies are required by law to include information about overdue child support in your credit report. This information may or may not influence creditors or lenders. Unpaid child support, called child support arrears, remain on your credit report for up to seven years. An agency could make an exception to that rule if you make a deal with them. For instance, if you agree to pay some or all of your arrears, an agency may agree not to report negative information to the credit reporting agencies. Still, usually child support enforcement agencies will not eliminate all negative information, and will at least report that you were delinquent in the past. Most state Department of Social Services agencies monitor monthly child support payments. They may also monitor when the support is received by the parent receiving payments. When a parent has overdue payments, they are alerted by the Department and the parent is allowed an opportunity to contest the arrears. Social Services send credit reporting agencies monthly a list of parents who have over $1,000 in arrears. If the parent continues to miss payments or does not pay back the debt, that information will most likely be included on a credit report. Creditors will continue to receive these reports as long as the arrears are unpaid. Balances that are unpaid for 180 days will appear as collection accounts on a credit report. Once overdue child support payments appear in a credit report, banks and other creditors may limit or deny credit until debt is partially or completely paid off. If you pay back your arrears, but still owe...

How do we end a common law marriage?

Many people are unfamiliar with how common law marriage actually works. Common law marriage is granted when a couple meets specific requirements determined by their state of residence. Many people believe that once a couple is living together for a certain period of time, they are considered common law married. In fact, there are usually more specific requirements than that. Before considering how to end a common law marriage, you should become familiar with your state’s laws regarding common law marriage to make sure you are legally in one. Majority of states do not currently recognize common law marriage laws. California does not technically recognize common law marriage laws, however, there are other options for couple who seek common law marriage. Some counties in California do recognize common law marriage laws, though there are not standard requirements in place to acquire this type of marriage. Most couples who seek this type of union in California achieve it through some type of loophole. If a couple wants the state to recognize their marriage without obtaining a marriage license, they can either sign power of attorney papers while in the relationship, or contract the common law marriage in a state and district which recognizes this type of marriage. A power of attorney is a document which gives an individual authority to handle another person’s affairs. Granting a power of attorney is a serious decision, because the person who gains control of the other person’s affairs has no restrictions on what they can do with the other person’s principal assets. A couple should take great care before granting a power of attorney....

Termination of Parental Rights: What is it, and can it be reversed?

Termination of parental rights is a court order that permanently ends the legal parent-child relationship when the parent is found to be unfit. Termination of parental rights is not granted by the courts for parents who mutually agree to terminate their rights to resolve visitation or support issues. When a parents rights are terminated, they can no longer make decisions for the child. When determining if a parents rights should be terminated, most states require the court to show with clear and convincing evidence that the parent is unfit, and that severing the parent-child relationship is in the child’s best interests. To qualify for termination of parental rights, it has to be determined that the child cannot safely return home because  of risk of harm by the parent. Though each state determines their own statutory grounds, there are a few common scenarios that may determine parental unfitness, including: Failure to support and maintain contact with the child Severe and ongoing abuse or neglect Physical or sexual abuse of the child Abuse or neglect of other children in the household Child abandonment Long-term mental illness of the parents Long-term substance abuse by the parent Involuntary termination of rights of the parent to another child Other various circumstances In California, parental rights can also be terminated if the whereabouts of the parent have been unknown for 6 months, the parent has not visited or attempted to contact the child is 6 months, the parent has been convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness, or the court has continued to remove the child from the custody of the parent or guardian and...