Do I need a lawyer for a step-parent adoption in Florida?

Although a Miami-Dade County stepparent adoption is a less complex process than an adoption involving unrelated parties, it still requires you to appear at an adoption hearing, and file petitions with the court. If the necessary provisions are not included in the petition or discussed in the hearing, then the adoption will not be allowed to proceed. Similar to any other Florida adoption, a stepparent adoption requires the termination of one parent’s parental rights, which could potentially require a second hearing if the parent terminating rights does not consent. Additionally, Florida has specific notice requirements with you must comply that could result in a hold-up of the proceedings, or lead the court to deny the adoption if not completed properly. Though the process is somewhat simpler, it is still in the best interest of the adopting parents to hire an experienced Miami adoption attorney to review all documentation and appear at hearings with them, this will provide the prospective parents with peace of mind and help the process be as stress free as possible for them.

A Miami adoption lawyer will also explain to you the consequences of filing for a stepparent adoption. For example, the spouse of a divorced parent is not generally liable for child support payments if the marriage falls apart. However, once a stepparent adoption occurs, then you can be liable for child support payments. You also become eligible for custody and visitation rights.

You should never make such a large legal decision without consulting a Miami adoption attorney, who will be able to explain the steps and consequences of undertaking a stepparent adoption. Our Miami adoption attorneys have the experience and knowledge to make the process comprehensible and efficient.

If you are considering adopting your step-child and would like to be represented by an experienced Miami adoption attorney, contact Vari & Associates. Consultations are available in Miami and at several meeting locations throughout Dade and Broward Counties including Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, West Country Club Drive in Aventura, Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood and in the Homestead area. Appointments are also available by telephone and via Skype internet video chat. Telephone our office at (305) 222-7351 or send us an email to schedule a consultation.

When scheduling a consultation, please inform the secretary if there are any pending hearings, deadlines for filing an appeal, or other reason why you may need an immediate appointment. We will do our very best to accommodate your schedule in setting an appointment.


The statements in this section are based on Florida law and have been issued to inform and not advise. The statements are general in nature and individual facts in a given case may alter their application or involve other laws not referred to here.

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