A step parent is someone who is not the child’s parent but is married or the civil partner of a parent who has parental responsibility for the child in question and they have treated the child as a child of the family. Such a step parent can make an application to the court without the court’s permission for a child arrangements order or for varying or discharging existing orders. For all other applications, a step parent will need the permission of the court to apply for an order, unless that step parent already has parental responsibility.
There are a variety of circumstances where a step parent may wish to make an application to the court, for example to gain parental responsibility for a child within their family, to apply for a prohibited steps or specific issues order, to have themselves appointed as a guardian for the child if there is no longer anyone else with parental responsibility etc., or simply to maintain contact following a relationship break up.
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