Does divorce dissolve stepparenthood?

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Question:

I'm having difficulty finding out if the "lawful" status of a stepdaughter or stepson changes after a parent and stepparent's divorce is final and the stepdaughter or stepson is living on his or her own or with the natural parent. Can you help?

Answer:

Legally, stepchildren have no legal connection with stepparents -- current or previous. Only if a stepparent adopts a stepchild does the relationship take on legal rights and responsibilities.

Of course, as is often true with the law, legal principles do not recognize an underlying human reality: If a stepparent plays an important role in a stepchild's life, the relationship they form is what counts, not what the law says about it.

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