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California law now allows a child more than 2 legal parents

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2014 | Family Law

If there is one thing that current social trends teach us it is that concepts of the traditional family are constantly being challenged and changed. California may have a particular reputation as being on the cutting edge of such change.

This makes for a very dynamic environment when it comes to addressing the broad scope of family law issues that touch our lives. That can make things complicated and that’s why the help of an experienced attorney is always recommended.

A new law that took effect in California as of the first of this year perhaps serves to support the point.

The measure, formally known as Senate Bill 274, was signed into law in October. Its provisions make it possible for courts to extend parental rights to an adult besides a child’s two parents if it’s determined to be in the best interest of that child.

An official with Legal Advocates for Children and Youth says the law means that courts have greater flexibility to ensure the welfare of children. But critics warn of dire consequences. They say the law will not only confuse children, but wreak havoc in child support and custody cases.

The LACY attorney acknowledges there might be “a learning curve” to overcome as the law is implemented. But he says the benefits far outweigh the likely complications. He also anticipates that it will only be used in rare cases where a third adult has parental standing in a child’s eyes, and is willing to serve in the parental role.

At this point, actual implementation can only be speculated about. Like any law, decisions made in regard to the law could be subject to appeal. 

Source: Capital Public Radio, “California Children Can Now Have More Than Two Legal Parents,” Katie Orr, Jan. 3, 2014

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