Post-Judgment Divorce Decision To Call Step-Parent “Mom” Or “Dad” Belongs To Child
- February 11, 2016
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In B.S. v. T.S., Superior Court Judge Lawrence Jones ruled that, in a post-judgment divorce matter, the decision whether to call a step-parent “mom” or “dad” rests solely with the child. B.S. and T.S. were divorced with a judgment calling for joint legal custody of their son, Daniel, and both parents actively participated in their child’s life. B.S. ultimately began sharing a residence with his fiancee’, Lori and Daniel developed a emotional bond such that Daniel opted, without encouragement, to begin calling Lori “mom”. Daniel and T.S. maintained a strong bond as well which was not impacted by Daniel’s interactions with Lori. In hearing the motion by T.S. to prevent Daniel from calling Lori “mom”, Judge Jones noted that children of divorce often have few rights but one of those rights is certainly the choice of what to call a step-parent. In his ruling, Judge Jones did include that, in cases where the biological parent remains an active participant in the child’s life, the biological parent shall always be responsible for decisions regarding the child’s upbringing and that the step-parent’s marriage to a child’s biological parent does not, without more, confer parental rights on the step-parent. For more information regarding post-judgment modification, parental rights, custody, child support, divorce or other family law matters, visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.