Step parent rights

Sadly, a step parent can not be involved in this type of legal actions, unless they have a claim for custody. Since both biological/adoptive parents are living there is no chance of that happening. Custody issues are between the biological parents or in your case, biological/adoptive parents. The step parents have no rights in these cases. They are allowed to be in the courtroom, and be called as witnesses to testify but mediation and custody is between the parents only.
I understand the frustration on this. My husband and I discuss everything about his sons and it’s difficult for him to keep me completely informed or to get my input when needed when I have to hear everything after the fact. We struggle with it sometimes but it also helps the children to an extent. They know that since the custody is between their father and mother, that I am not going to be “taking their mother’s place”.

Thanks for the answers. I definetely understand, but I think in some cases the court system misses the boat with how parenting reall works. Basically, I have a “dead beat” biological/non-custodial mom that doesn’t pay Child support and doesn’t take care of our kids like a mother should. On the other hand I have a wife who has inserted herself in the true role of a mom and she doesn’t have any rights? I think that’s ashame!

Thanks for the reply.

And that’s why it irks me when my husband’s ex says “she’s JUST a step-parent and will never be anything!” I swear, Step-parenting is the hardest job i’ve ever had! I love them though, so they are worth it.

In this state there is nothing that is specifically defined at step-parent’s right. While it is admirable that your wife plays such an an important role with your children, unless she adopts them their biological mother will always be given preference.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780


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I am the biological father of twins and also adopted one child, all from the same biological mother who is my ex-wife. I have been married for 3+ years to my new wife. My wife and I were on a every other weekend visitation up until last August. It’s been a year since we’ve had primary custody and the biological mother has the visitation schedule every other weekend. My wife is as instrumental as I am with the kids and acts in the role of a natural mother. My question is, how can I legally include my wife in mediations, court documents and child rights? Recent mediation attempts with a Family Mediator have failed to understand the need for her to be involved. We are one, and I don’t like discussing family issues without her.