Should Children Be Prohibited From Calling Their Step-Parent “Mom” or “Dad”?

| Jun 3, 2016 | Children |


What if your child calls your ex’s new spouse/significant other “mom” or “dad?”

Can you ask a court to stop that behavior?  

These questions crop up periodically in custody cases and can cause extremely hurt feelings and expensive litigation. Generally speaking, most Family and Probate Courts in Massachusetts discourage the practice, even sometimes ordering that the child not refer to anyone other than the natural parents as “Mom” and “Dad.”

Recently, in New Jersey, a trial court judge, in the case of B.S. v. T.S., stated that there can be instances when it is OK for a child to address a step-parent as “Mom” or “Dad” over the other parent’s objection.

The court stressed that the choice was the child’s, not the parents’ and the child must be reasonably mature enough to make the decision. Additionally, the behavior must be a natural progression of the child’s and not due to encouragement of the step-parent or parent. 

Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either through email or telephone 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation to discuss your particular situation.

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