Winkler Legal Services, LLC
[ State of Ohio ]

A law firm focused on Probate and Estate Planning & Divorce and Family Law

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Dirken D. Winkler

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Columbus, Ohio
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Family Law
Probate & Estate Planning

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Winkler Legal Services, LLC
Attorney at Law
490 City Park Avenue
Columbus, OH 43215

  (614) 461-5708
  (614) 444-5188

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Columbus, Ohio Stepparent Adoption Attorney
Winkler Legal Services, LLC

Stepparent Adoption

Often, a stepparent plays a primary role in raising a child in place of one of the biological parents. Under certain circumstances, Ohio law provides for the stepparent to adopt the child. I am attorney Dirken D. Winkler and I have represented stepparents seeking to adopt a child for over thirteen years. As such, I understand the many legal challenges faced when adopting a stepchild. Providing a stable and nurturing environment for the child to flourish, in place of the biological parent, is the primary goal of a stepparent adoption proceeding.

A stepparent adoption is initiated when the stepparent files a petition for adoption with the Probate Court. The child’s biological parent (noncustodial parent) must be notified of the petition and must be provided an opportunity to object. In order for the stepparent adoption to proceed, Ohio law requires that both biological parents consent to the adoption. However, the consent of the noncustodial biological parent is not required when the stepparent (the party that has filed the petition) proves by “clear and convincing evidence” that the noncustodial biological parent has either failed to 1) communicate with the child, or 2) financially support the child, without justification, during the twelve months immediately preceding the date the adoption petition was filed. If the noncustodial biological parent fails to file timely objections with the Probate Court, then the biological parent’s consent will not be necessary.

Should the noncustodial biological parent timely file objections to the petition, the Probate Court will then schedule a “Consent hearing” to determine whether the noncustodial biological parent’s consent is necessary. Should the noncustodial biological parent consent, or not object to the petition, the Court will schedule a final “Best Interests hearing” to either approve or deny the petition. Depending on the particular circumstances, a stepparent adoption may have up to two hearings.
When the Court approves a stepparent adoption, the adopting parent (the stepparent) thereafter assumes all legal rights and responsibilities to care for the adopted child. Furthermore, the adopted child is vested with all rights as if he or she were the stepparent’s natural child, including rights to the stepparent’s estate and assets upon death, and, in cases of divorce, the adopting parent could be ordered to financially support the adopted child.

As with all matters dealing with legal custody of a child, the Court must find that the stepparent adoption would be in the child's best interest. I have represented both the adopting stepparent and the noncustodial biological parent (not in the same proceeding) and am very well versed in addressing the factual and legal issues germane to an Ohio stepparent adoption. If you are attempting to adopt a step child or have been served notice of a petition to adopt your child, contact Winkler Legal Services, LLC for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss your matter more fully. In most circumstances, Winkler Legal Services, LLC offers an affordable flat fee arrangement to help you better weather the legal costs associated with an Ohio stepparent adoption.

Unfortunately, the costs of a stepparent adoption are not tax deductible. IRS Publication 968.

When dealing with a stepparent adoption, it is important to understand and protect your rights. Attorney, Dirken D. Winkler has significant experience dealing with stepparent adoptions in Franklin and surrounding counties.

Columbus, Ohio Stepparent Adoption Lawyer

You do not hire a law firm; you hire me, an experienced Columbus, Ohio Probate and Estate Planning & Divorce and Family Law lawyer you can count on to be there when you need.

An experienced Columbus, Ohio Probate and Estate Planning & Divorce and Family Law, Lawyer

Meet with your lawyer when and where you can.

If you would like to speak with me regarding probate administration, estate planning, trusts, wills, power of attorney, living will, divorce, dissolution, child custody, child support, establishing parental rights, legal separation, spousal support, grandparent / companionship rights, stepparent adoptions and annulment of marriages, please e-mail or call (614) 461-5708 for a FREE initial telephone consultation.

Columbus, Ohio, Probate and Estate Planning & Family Law Lawyer
Dirken D. Winkler

- serving clients in Central Ohio, including Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, and Union counties and the cities of Bexley, Canal Winchester, Columbus, Dublin, Gahanna, Grandview Heights, Grove City, Groveport, Hilliard, New Albany, Pickerington, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Whitehall, and Worthington. Give me a call at (614) 461-5708. I look forward to representing you.

Columbus, Ohio, Family Law Attorney Winkler Legal Services, LLC

/ Page updated Sunday, October 8, 2017 /

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