The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - Divorce & Marriage Issues

Sole Custody Of Children After Divorce - Custody After Death

Divorced parents are entitled to custody of their minor children after death of a parent who had sole custody unless a court order provides otherwise. In general, It must be proven that it is specific detriment to the child in order to remove a child from the custody of a surviving parent and place the child in the custody of a non-parent. The court makes decisions based on the best interests of the child. Because parents have superior rights to custody over all other non-parents, a different standard is used when making custody decisions between a parent and a non-parent. If a court awarded sole custody to one parent, this is not proving that it would be detrimental to the child for the other parent to have custody. Sometimes a court must choose between 2 good parents. A parent with sole custody does not have the right to give or "will" this custody to someone else. Any parent can nominate a guardian for their child in their will. If the other parent is unable or unwilling to take charge of the child after your death, the court must consider your guardianship petition. The court must still consider the child's "best interests" and may grant guardianship to a non-parent.

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