CHAPTER 146

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 104

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CUSTODY DISPUTES BETWEEN A NATURAL PARENT AND A STEPPARENT UPON THE DEATH OR DISABILITY OF THE CUSTODIAL OR PRIMARY PLACEMENT PARENT.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 7, Title 13, Delaware Code by adding a new section thereto to read as follows:

"733. Stepparent Custody in Certain Circumstances.

Notwithstanding that there is a surviving natural parent, upon the death or disability of the custodial or primary placement parent, the Court, at the request of the stepparent shall continue the placement of the child(ren) with the stepparent pending a hearing on the merits, provided the child(ren) has resided with the stepparent immediately prior to the death or disability of the custodial or primary placement parent. Where the child(ren) has so resided with the stepparent the Court shall apply the provisions of §722 of this Chapter and may grant permanent custody or primary physical placement to the stepparent. If the Court grants custody or primary placement of the child(ren) to the stepparent, the stepparent shall have all of the rights and obligations of a parent until such time as he/she no longer has custody or primary placement of the child(ren)."

Approved July 6, 1995