Step-daughter voluntarily signed a temporary custody consent decree 257c.07 to transfer physical and legal custody to my ex-husband and I. There was no termination date stated. She claims her custodial rights were never terminated. She is currently acting as if she has legal custody by signing medical papers, seeking welfare for the children and contacting the school. Can she do this or is this contempt of court? Has her parental rights been terminated?
No. It is not a termination of parental rights. It is, however, a transfer of custody that remains in effect unless something rather significant would change to warrant a modification. Generally, it allows the parent to seek contact in some form with the minor child (ren).
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Your daughter is right in that her rights as a parent were not terminated in the sense that she still has the right to see the child and can seek a modification in the future. But, you are right in that she does not have the right to sign papers on the child's behalf for school and medical stuff. You can try providing the school with a copy of the custody transfer showing the school that your daughter no longer has legal custody.
Her parental rights were not terminated. She is still the legal parent. That said, if she signed SOLE legal and physical custody over to you, she does not have the right to do what she is doing. However, since what she did was voluntary and temporary, she can just as quickly undo what she did as well.
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