CAN STEP PARENTS GET VISITATION WITH STEP CHILDREN AFTER A DIVORCE?

In many families there is a close bond between the step parent and step child.  Accepted conventional wisdom has it that once the marriage ends the relationship between the step parent and step child ends automatically.  That doesn’t have to be the case.  There are laws on the books for people other than parents to have court ordered visitation with children.  Generally this is considered for grandparents but these laws can also be used by siblings and former step parents to get visitation with the children.  In CPS cases, the adoption orders will often include language to ensure that siblings are able to have visitation until the youngest child becomes an adult.

At Harris, Yug & Ohlinger I have been involved in cases where someone other than the parent wants visitation with children. I have represented the parent who did not want the visitation to occur and the child who wants the visitation to occur.