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Step-Parent Adoption – Time to Take the Plunge?

January 31, 2019

By: Melody Lynch

Family composition often includes children from a prior marriage. Step-parents assume the role of caring for, loving, and raising the spouse’s children. Lasting bonds are created by step-parent relationships but legally, step-parents have no rights with regards to these children. Step-parent adoption can be a great option for families to achieve permanency and stability. Some additional benefits include:

  • Gaining a sense of belonging and importance in the family
  • Securing a partnership in case the other parent dies
  • Accessing medical, dental and other health care coverage from the step-parent
  • Obtaining insurance benefits and other inheritance from the step-parent

Most of all, step-parent adoption provides a vehicle for blended families to achieve unity and a lasting legal bond. Upon adoption, a step-parent receives the same rights as biological parents. Step-parent adoption generally follows one of two paths. Either a biological parent consents to the adoption or a petition to terminate the biological parent’s rights is filed. In Florida, step-parent adoption involves numerous forms, background checks, court appearances, and other legal appointments.

If you are ready to discuss the next step towards achieving your dream of a forever family, contact Melody Lynch at 407-418-6447 to learn more about step-parent adoption.


Melody

Melody Lynch is a litigator and founding member of the firm’s Privacy, Cybersecurity and eDiscovery Group. Lynch focuses her legal practice on complex business litigation, banking litigation, probate & trust litigation, guardianship, intellectual property litigationlabor & employment litigation, family law and step-parent adoption. She has worked on matters involving a wide variety of business disputes, employment contracts, non-competition agreements, non-disclosure agreements and trade secrets. Her estate litigation practice focuses on matters involving wills, trusts, or guardianships.

A frequent author and lecturer on the topics of employment law, eDiscovery, workplace privacy, and technology, Melody assists clients in preparing document retention and destruction policies. She has litigated complex cases involving voluminous amounts of electronically stored information (ESI), designing review platforms and managing document preservation, collection, and production efforts through settlement or trial.

The court room isn’t the only stage on which Melody has appeared. Before pursuing her career in law, Melody attended college on a ballet scholarship and danced with a professional ballet company as an apprentice dancer. Lynch received her bachelor’s degree from Butler University, is a graduate of Stetson University College of Law and holds an M.B.A from Stetson University. She often calls on her educational background, augmented by experience, to counsel clients on complex business and employment matters. She has represented clients in the health care, environmental, hospitality, and banking industries, among others.

Additionally, Lynch is heavily involved in the Central Florida community and has been awarded with the Presidential Leadership Award by the Orange County Bar Association. Additionally she was named "40 under 40" by the Orlando Business Journal. She holds positions on boards of several organizations, which are all included below. She is a Guardian ad Litem for the Legal Aid Society where she represents the interests of abused and neglected children. She is a pro bono attorney for Seniors First where she represents the interests of indigent elderly wards. 

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