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What rights do stepparents have in Wa state?

Washington |

If I am the custodial parent and my child resides with us what rights does my wife have as the step parent? In regards to medical and signing information, as well as school, or anything else?

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Attorney answers 1


You ask about the step-mom's right to sign medical and school info. Strictly speaking, she has no legal right to do so. Some agencies and institutions allow a step-parent to sign for homework, records, field trips, etc. - but this is only their policy, not a "right" that can be asserted by your wife. This presents practical problems, since it sounds like she may be more in contact than you with your child's doctors and teachers. I have had other clients resolve this problem by having the spouse (your wife) present (1) a copy of the custody order, and (2) a power of attorney from the custodial spouse (you) authorizing the step-parent (your wife) to sign on behalf of the custodian (you).

DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided for general educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. The law changes frequently, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information provided in this answer is general in nature, may not apply to the factual circumstances described in your question, and may be different in the State where the facts occurred. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney.

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