How Do Stepparent Adoptions Work in New Jersey?

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According to a folk saying, stepparents and stepchildren are brought together by choice and strengthened by love. If you want to demonstrate your ongoing devotion to your stepchild by becoming their legal parent, please read on, then contact an experienced Bergen County, New Jersey adoption lawyer to learn how stepparent adoptions work in New Jersey.

How do stepparent adoptions work in New Jersey?

A stepparent’s adoption of a stepchild is one of the most common forms of adoption. If a stepparent adopts the stepchild, he or she becomes a legal parent to the child in every way. If you want to adopt your stepchild, you must have the consent or agreement of both your spouse and the child’s other parent, i.e. the noncustodial parent, unless that parent has abandoned the child. By giving his or her consent, the noncustodial parent gives up all rights and responsibilities, including child support. Given sufficient reason, the court can also decide that it does not require the noncustodial parent’s consent to proceed. Keep in mind, that should you win your adoption case, and should you and the child’s biological parent later divorce, you may have to pay child support.

What decisions can you make if you adopt your stepchild?

Should the court approve your stepparent adoption, you will have the legal right to make the following decisions:

  • What kind of medical care the child will receive
  • Which school the child will attend
  • What religion the child will practice
  • The amount and quality of time spent with a harmful biological parent
  • Any other important decisions a biological parent would be able to make

How can hiring a New Jersey family law attorney help you in your stepparent adoption case?

While hiring an attorney is not required to adopt a stepchild, it is highly recommended. Even though you can’t put a price on love, per se, stepparent adoptions in New Jersey can range from $350 to $2,000. This is especially true if the noncustodial parent, despite being a toxic influence, will not relinquish custody of his or her biological child. In that instance, you will need to reach out to an experienced Bergen County, New Jersey family law attorney who will obtain and prepare the documents, witness statements and other evidence necessary to prove your case before the family court. If you have found the saying at the beginning of this post to be true and would like to become your stepchild’s legal parent, you will need quality legal representation.

Contact Our Experienced Bergen County Firm

Whether you are getting divorced or are facing any other family law matter, you need competent legal assistance on your side. Our legal team is dedicated to fighting for individuals, their families, and their future. Contact HD Family Law today to schedule your initial consultation with our compassionate and experienced firm.

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