I am marrying my boyfriend in March, and he has two children, who I adore. Will I have any rights to the kids as stepmom if my boyfriend and his ex share custody?
Being a stepparent does not confer any rights or impose any duties. Any support a stepparent provides to a stepchild is purely voluntary and can cease at any time. In some cases, a stepparent who treats a stepchild as a member of their family, places herself in loco parentis, which means “in the place of a parent.” However, in order to establish a parental relationship, the stepparent must intend to take the place of the child’s natural parent in providing support, educating and instructing the child and caring for its general welfare. The status of loco parentis for a stepparent terminates upon divorce. However, if your fiancé and his ex have joint custody, loco parentis would probably not apply in your situation. For more information, contact an experienced family law attorney.