Thursday, August 30, 2018

custody - standing - in loco parentis - stepfather in U.S. military - physical absence from home


M.L.S. v. T.H.-S – Superior Court – Augusut 29, 2018 – reported opinion

Held:  Stepfather (SF) of 11 year-old child stands in loco parentis to child, even though SF is in active military service and lives apart from the child for the majority of time, where:

            - SF listed child as a dependent and received benefits from SF’s military service (15 years in the US Navy)
            - SF spoke with child on phone every other day while stationed in the U.S.
            - SF undertook many parental duties, as permitted by his military service, and served in many respects in place of child’s deceased father

Physical absence from home due to military services is “merely one factor” concerning in loco parentis.
SF both assumed parental status and discharged parental duties.

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