If a Parent Passes Away, Is Custody Automatically Granted to the Living Biological Parent?

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“I know two young men who’s mother has passed away and their father has come and taken custody of them. The father has never given them a dime nor has he been there for them. He doesn’t know them and they don’t want to live with him. What can they do? They resided in Florida with their mother and would like to remain here with a close friend of their mother’s who is willing to be their legal guardian. They also have an older brother and all of their mother’s family is here in Florida. The father resides in Detroit. What if anything can be done?”

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Where two biological parents exist, and one passes away, the other has the right to custody. This is a very unfortunate situation for these two boys, losing their mother like that. And the thought of being ripped away from their home to go live in another state must be very difficult. However, their father has a right to custody of them. For this reason, the legal system is probably not the best place to look for assistance. Rather, I would suggest trying hard to get the father and sons into family counseling, both to help the boys deal with their grief, and to help the father to understand and see that it means a lot to them to be able to remain in the place they know best.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.