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  1. #1

    Default Parental Custody Upon Death of Spouse

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: California

    Mother was granted full custody of an only child (no violence, etc.. connected to the granting of this custody) since then, the mother and biological father have married. The mother has recently found out that she has terminal cancer (2-4 years of life expectancy). The mother wants to be assured that their child will remain in the custody of her husband (child's biological father) upon her death or incapacitation due to her health issues. Does she need to file paperwork with the courts who initially awarded her full custody to request the existing custody be reconsidered as joint parental custody? Or...is it "assumed" to be joint parental custody upon their marriage and the prior singular custodial assignment was null and void? Is the other parent always (except of course in abuse cases, etc...) granted custodial rights since they are already the biological parent?
    Thank you very much for your help in the matter.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Parental Custody Upon Death of Spouse

    Are you saying that both parents, now married are the bio parents? Think I must be missing something here.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Parental Custody Upon Death of Spouse

    Quote Quoting mamabear2102003
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    Are you saying that both parents, now married are the bio parents? Think I must be missing something here.
    Husband and wife are biological parents of child. The wife was given sole custody BEFORE they were married of their only child. Now that they are married, does she need to submit legal paperwork to the court so that the husband (biological father) shares custody? She has not done anything about the existing court assigned custody because she ASSUMED that now she was married they would both share in the custody. She is terminally ill and wants assurance that her husband (also biological father) will have custody of their daughter when she passes away.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Parental Custody Upon Death of Spouse

    Not sure about CA, but in MI all you have to do is contact the court and turn in your marriage license (this drops all custody issues, although not necessarily child support if he's in arrears). If dad is already on the birth certificate as the dad, first rights would go to him. Tell mom to contact a local atty to assure this is properly taken care of.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Parental Custody Upon Death of Spouse

    Quote Quoting mamabear2102003
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    Not sure about CA, but in MI all you have to do is contact the court and turn in your marriage license (this drops all custody issues, although not necessarily child support if he's in arrears). If dad is already on the birth certificate as the dad, first rights would go to him. Tell mom to contact a local atty to assure this is properly taken care of.

    Yes, Dad is on the birth certificate. Will advise her to submit marriage license to settle custody issues. Thank you for assistance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Parental Custody Upon Death of Spouse

    I am pretty sure that in CA when one parent dies, the other parent is automatically the primary custodial parent, unless someone else has been given rights to the child (adoption, guardianship) and/or the other parent is in prison/jail or have had their parental rights taken away because of things such as abuse, drugs, and things the like.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Parental Custody Upon Death of Spouse

    There is absolutely no reason in the world to submit a marriage license. If/when mom dies, dad has sole custody of his child.
    If you wanted babies all to yourself, you should have created them by yourself. Until you do that, children have the right to BOTH parents, especially since you found them suitable to procreate with.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Parental Custody Upon Death of Spouse

    It would be the same if mom and dad weren't married or lived together. I have heard and read about instances where a parent dies, and the other parent lives across the US (no frequent contact, etc). The dead parents sister filed for custody of the daughter.
    Now I'm not sure what the outcome of that was; but it doesn't apply here. Dad has been in the kids life consistently, therefore he received sole custody.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Parental Custody Upon Death of Spouse

    Quote Quoting mrshiggins
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    It would be the same if mom and dad weren't married or lived together. I have heard and read about instances where a parent dies, and the other parent lives across the US (no frequent contact, etc). The dead parents sister filed for custody of the daughter.
    Now I'm not sure what the outcome of that was; but it doesn't apply here. Dad has been in the kids life consistently, therefore he received sole custody.


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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Parental Custody Upon Death of Spouse

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
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    Your post makes no sense
    Let me explain:

    I read a story about a couple (who were still married but lived in different states; pretty far from each other). The mom moved in with her sister who helped care for the child, while the mother was dealing with health issues (what caused her to move away in the first place, the doctors are better at sisters than dads).
    When the mom died the sister filed for custody of the child because the sister (aunt) cared for the child and claimed to be the primary care giver to the child.
    The father responded by saying that the only reason he was still in state 1 was because he was able to make money and keep insurance for his dying wife who's healthcare costs were enormous. He said that the child should be returned to him, the only surviving parent. Dad, I guess, helped support his child financially as well.
    I don't know the outcome of that case, but the fact that it got some publicity along with a judge that would even hear it, got me thinking that not EVERY time will the surviving parent automatically get custody.

    But in this case, where both parents are involved, there is no question about where the child will go.
    And I also pointed out that even if the parents weren't married or living together, if both parents are involved then the surviving parent would receive sole custody.

    I think that the only type of cases where a surviving parent wouldn't receive custody is if the parent had NOTHING to do with the child and there was soemone else to take guardianship of child and/or the parent had cases of drugs/neglect/jail, etc.

    Does that make a bit more sense?

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