Skip to main content

Can I add a stepparent to my custody papers?

Watertown, NY |
Filed under: Child custody

I have sole custody of my 11 year old daughter. Her biological father has visitation rights and pays child support. I am asking if my husband of 11 years can be added as custodial parent along with me. I don't want her biological father to have to give up his rights because my daughter still does have somewhat of a relationship with him. I just want to add my husband to the custody agreement. Thank you!

Attorney Answers 2


Generally, petitions for non-parent custody require a showing of extraordinary circumstances for a non-parent to even have standing to seek custodial rights. From the facts you relay, it seems this does not exist. My next question would be what you are trying to accomplish by having step-dad on custody papers. If access to school/medical records and personnel is the issue, this can easily be accomplished by signing a release with the respective facility. Best of luck to you and your family!

Mark as helpful

4 lawyers agree


No, the problem is that your husband isn't a legal parent, so he cannot become a "custodial parent". If he adopts, then he would become a legal parent and he could also become a custodial parent. He cannot adopt as long as the biological father's parental rights are intact. You may be able to designate your husband as a stand-by guardian in certain circumstances, but this is something you should discuss in detail with an attorney. Good luck!

Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: All of Ms. Brown's responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.

Mark as helpful

10 found this helpful

2 lawyers agree

Child custody topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics