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A Step-Parent Can Gain Custody

Even if you are not a biological parent, the Court can determine that you have in fact become the "psychological" parent. In certain circumstances, being identified as the psychological parent may be enough for a step-parent to gain custody. The Court will order a custody evaluation to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Many factors will be taken into consideration to determine who can provide the best overall care for the child. Among the most important of these elements are: who can offer the most stable home, give the physical care and emotional nurturing, and be most responsive to the child's educational development. A step-parent who is clearly a better choice than the biological mother or father can win custody. 

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