Step-Parents Rights


My son’s father has Physical Custody and we both Share Legal Custody. He intentionally didn’t put me on any of my son’s school, daycare or medical documentation as his mother, parent or as a emergency contact. I have not been on any of my son’s school and medical documentation ever since he had had gained physical custody in 2006.

Last Summer, he had gotten married. He had put his wife on every single school and medical document of my son’s as his mother, parent, and emergency contact. Aso, His wife has signed every document of my son’s as well. My son is on her medical insurance and not his father’s.

For years, He has been refusing to add me on anything as his mother, parent, and as a emergency contact. What can I do about this?

What is North Carolina’s stance as far as Step-Parents rights to their step children? Like what can and cannot do? Does she have any rights to my child?


North Carolina statutes do not give stepparents custodial rights of stepchildren unless there is an adoption. So the stepmother in your case does not have any rights to your child (I’m assuming there has not been an adoption).

Depending on the wording of your custody order, you may be able to file a contempt motion with the Court against the father for failing to share and keep you updated on your son’s academic and medical information. Oftentimes custody orders will have a paragraph specifically related to what joint legal custody means and who is to do what in regards to academic and medical information.


This response doesn’t answer my question. But I have NOT given up my parental rights or my Legal Custody rights at all to my child. So my son’s step-mother can never adopt my son.

All I want to know since me and my son’s father share Legal Custody of the child…isn’t he legally obligated to put me down on all of my son’s school and medical documentation as his Mother, Parent, and Emergency Contact as well??? Because I haven’t been on any of my child’s school or medical documentation since 2006. I have not got a chance to sign any such document for years…

What is Custodial Rights? Do you mean that she doesn’t have Legal custody rights regarding my son? Is she able to sign any school or medical documentation pertaining to my son?


Your son’s father isn’t obligated to list you as the emergency contact for your son unless your court order or separation agreement states so. He should be listing you as the mother and other parent since the stepmother is not your son’s mother and thus listing the stepmother is inaccurate information, but he does not have an obligation to do so unless it is stated in your custody order or separation agreement. However, if your custody order or separation agreement states that due to joint legal custody, academic and medical information and decisions pertaining to your son shall be shared, and the father has not done this, then you could file a contempt motion or breach of contract lawsuit to remedy this violation.

Custodial rights is who is able to obtain custody of a minor child. A stepparent cannot gain custody over a child that is not biologically theirs unless there is an adoption, one of the parents has acted inconsistent with their constitutional rights as a parent, or a similar circumstance. You are right that the stepmother in your situation does not have legal custody of your son since you have a court order or separation agreement granting you joint legal custody with the father. Therefore, she cannot make decisions such as where your son will attend school or what kind of medical treatment your son should have for example.