My Ex Has Physical Custody of Our Son. Do I Automatically Get Custody if My Ex Dies?

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‘My ex-husband and I have joint custody of our two children with physical custody of one to each of us from ND, which is his place of residence. He is currently on life support in MN and my son is
staying with grandparents because of proximity. I am in Indiana. If/when he passes, do I automatically get physical custody of our other son? Can the grandparents keep me from him? Where, if needed would I need to file for an immediate return of my son? I ask these to cover all bases. The grandparents and I have a verbal understanding considering the circumstances, but something they said
the other day just grabbed me wrong and I have been uneasy.’

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Parental rights are valued higher than grandparent’s rights in the court in general. In fact, in most cases, and in most states, grandparents have no rights. As such, custody of your son should default to you if your ex-husband is no longer able to care for him. If you need to assert your parental rights against your child’s grandparents, you can petition the court that issued your original custody order for
enforcement of that order. Keep in mind that it is a very difficult time when a member of the family has such a serious condition, and it is probably in your son’s best interest to maintain your good

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.