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Never married father wants to know his parental rights if his girlfriend (and mother of his children) were to die


Your Question:
this may sound like a strange question but i am happily with my girlfriend and our 2 year old Daughter and 1 on the way. My Girlfriend and i were thinking what would happen if she were to die.

Would i being the father of our children get full cusdody or would my Girlfriends parents have a right to try for cusdody.

I say all this because my Girlfriend has a real fear of her mother trying to do this Could this happen? all we have is my name on the birth certificate do i need any thing more to take full custody if the unlikely happens?

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My Answer:
Hi,

If you're in the United States, then you have no immediate custodial rights should the mother die. It could indeed become a battle with her parents as to what's in the children's best interest.

If you're happily together, and if you two are building a family together, then the best advice I can have is to just get married. Once you're married, you have equal rights to the children, and you will essentially have sole custody if she were to die (and vice versa). In that scenario, if the grandparents wanted to fight you, unless you're unfit, you will prevail. The best the grandparents could hope for is to get regular visits ordered by the court if you suddenly block their access to the kids (e.g., a court may order visits once or twice a month).

If you two don't think marriage is a good thing to model for your children, so they learn to build strong homes with committed relationships, then your girlfriend should talk to an attorney who can help her craft a will designating her preference (but no guarantee) that you should be the guardian of the children.

Eric





This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.


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