Everyone has known someone who perished unexpectedly and left behind a family. People wondered how they were going to manage financially. What would happen to the children of a single parent? Who was going to take care of them?

If a Custodial Parent Dies, Who Gets Custody?

Family relationships can become very complicated. People divorce, remarry, or never marry. Many children have stepparents or an absent biological parent. If a parent hasn’t left a will naming a guardian for their children, the state will make the decision.

The Court Will Decide

Naming a guardian for the children in a will isn’t a complete guarantee that the court will confirm that person as guardian, but is far better than doing nothing at all. Generally, the court considers both the guardian named in the will and the following people when deciding guardianship for the children.

     *     Non-custodial parent. Generally, the non-custodial or acknowledged biological parent will be given the opportunity to assume responsibility for the children. However, if the biological parent had never legally acknowledged paternity and wanted to care for the child, he’d face difficulties. In a different scenario, suppose that the non-custodial parent has a history of violence or is otherwise an unfit parent. The custodial parent would want to discuss this with an attorney when preparing a will.

     *     Grandparents. It’s much easier for them to assume guardianship if they have been named legally as the preferred guardians.

     *     Aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives, and family friends:. A best friend who has been involved with the children for every day of their lives might be your first choice as a potential guardian. If the biological parent or blood relatives contest this, the friend will find it very difficult to be named guardian unless the court can be provided with legal evidence that the friend would be the best choice.

     *     The state. With no other alternatives, the children will enter the foster care system.

Sitting down with an experienced attorney and discussing wills, estates and trusts in Huntersville, NC, is the best way to protect your children’s future. You are in a far better position than an unknown judge to know what would be best.

Lake Law Office, PLLC can handle all of your legal issues, including wills, estates and trusts in Huntersville, NC. Don’t let the state decide what would happen to your children and your property. Visit the website to learn more and contact the office.