Grayson, GA asked in Family Law for Georgia

Q: Is a 17 year old a legal step child of her mother's new husband if the marriage occurred after age 17?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rachel Lea Hunter
Rachel Lea Hunter
  • Cary, NC
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Question makes no sense. A child who is not the biological or adopted child of a person has no rights of inheritance from that person.

In your example mother has a child age 17 and marries husband.

For inheritance purposes, if husband dies without a will, only mother can inherit because stepchild was not a biological child of husband and husband never adopted the child.

Same basic facts, but now mother dies. Child can inherit from mother because child is mother's biological or adopted child.

Same basic facts but mother and husband get a divorce in 6 months. Husband does not have to pay child support to mother for 17 year old because he is not the biological or adopted father of child.

I don't know what you mean by legal. There is no such thing as an illegal stepchild. If parent has a child and remarries someone else child is always a stepchild regardless if the marriage occurs when the child is 7, 17 or 27 or any other age.

Being a stepchild does not give any rights of inheritance or confer duties of child support, entitle a stepparent to custody or give the stepchild any right of inheritance under the intestacy laws as I have explained.

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