Author: Justyne M. Leslie

An individual is considered the legal parent of a child if they stand in loco parentis to the child. The term in loco parentis is a Latin term which means “in the place of a parent.

A person, such as a step-parent, stands in the place of a parent when they act in a way that shows a settled intention to be placed in the position of a parent to a child, and voluntarily and willingly occupies the position with full knowledge that someone else was the child’s biological parent. The court will consider factors such as the following when determining whether the step-parent has stood in loco parentis:

If you stand in loco parentis to a child, you may have the same rights and responsibilities to the child as if you were the biological parent of that child. You may have financial responsibility for the child, you may have the right to participate in making important decisions for the child, and you may have the right to parent and have contact with the child even if you separate from the child’s primary parent.

Need Guidance?

If you think you may be standing in loco parentis to a child, and need legal assistance to navigate a parenting dispute, lawyers at BOYNECLARKE LLP can help you with your family law matter. Please call 902-469-9500 to schedule your consultation with a member of our Family Law team.