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Do step parents play a role in determining parental responsibility?

Cape Canaveral, FL |

I am going through family court and I was told that step parents are not considered in florida to have special rights when it comes to determining parental responsibilities. Is this right? also my childs father and his wife have a history of having many domestic violence injunctions (including before they got married) and police reports including their child (she has been removed twice from their custody). can I use her unsafe behavior/psychological problems along with his to prove lack of safety for my son? and last but not least, child father was ordered to pay support via payroll deduction, he quit his job and started another and did not report it to court. Can this be used to show his unwillingness to care for his child?

*he started working another job right after he found out he had to start paying support to his other child as well. in our case he denied having 2 jobs then quit the job that our son was getting his support from. I advised the judge of this and child father denied having 2 jobs. he has only paid support to our child for a total of 10 months out of the 2.5 last years finding every excuse in the book not to. ***cannot afford an attorney even though I need one. However, any advice would help. Thank-You!

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Attorney answers 3


You can use anything relevant pursuant to Chapter 61.13(3)(a) through (t) to show what is in the best interest of your minor child. You need to be intimately familiar with that statute if you are to even think about representing yourself. I will attach it to this answer. Good luck!

Bill Rosenfelt 407-462-8787 (Orlando)

Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.


I understand you may not be able to afford an attorney, but have you at least consulted with a local attorney. There are plenty attorneys, many which can be found here on Avvo in your area that may or will offer at the least a free consultation to give you some general advice on some of your questions.

There is also legal aid, which I am unsure if you qualify for it, but it is worth looking into.

You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-354-5223. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.


Step-Parents have no rights in Florida to make independent decisions about a child.

This information is a general answer and is not specific to any particular case. Carin Manders Constantine, Esq. 727-456-0032/ 727-488-8272