Congratulations! You’ve married your life-long love and created a blended family with your children. While you are settling into your new relationship, it might feel like the highest hurdles have been overcome. But whether you have biological and non-biological children there are additional steps you might want to take to protect their future and your custody rights.
Formal Adoptions Protect the Child
In our uncertain political times, by formally adopting the biological child of your same-sex spouse in Colorado, you ensure that you can financially and domestically protect their future. If same-sex marriage rights are threatened or you end up filing for a divorce from your spouse, your parental rights may be stronger if there has been a formal adoption.
A Legally Recognized Parent Retains More Rights for Custody
If you are not the biological parent of a child you are raising with your spouse and if you became separated, it may be more difficult to retain visitation and custody rights. A petition to determine allocation of parental responsibilities may have to be filed to help the court determine who has been substantially involved in the raising of the children.
By retaining an attorney experienced in family law and filing for adoption while you are enjoying a positive relationship, the stress of a potential divorce proceeding can be greatly reduced for all of you by formalizing your legal status as a parent.
Can Serve as Life Insurance for Your Children
Another consideration is what would happen to your blended family if you or your spouse were to suddenly pass away? If you did not file for formal adoption, it is possible that the other biological parent–no matter how little involvement they have had in the child’s life–could pose a legal challenge to your parental status. Life is full of uncertainties and the job of a parent is to provide a safe and stable environment for their children.
Entering into a marriage is making a commitment to care for one another. When you start a family, it’s a good idea to ensure that you can make the same commitment for your children by taking the legal steps to protect their happiness and future.