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Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1544
Experience:  30+ years family law experience. QDROs, UIFSA, UCCJEA expertise.
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If I die, can my childs step father have custody He has been

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If I die, can my child's step father have custody? He has been with us since age 1 (1o years), and the biological father has not paid any child custody, although he does see my son about 6 times a year for a couple of days and may request custody. Who has the rights here?
     If the custodial parent dies during the child's minority, the surviving parent immediately becomes entitled to sole custody, unless it is proved by clear and convincing evidence that such custody would not be in the child's best interests and would be detrimental to the child. Your surviving husband would have to initiate a lawsuit seeking to obtain a court order that grants to him the legal custody of the child.

     It would be advisable, and perfectly legal, to prepare a will in which you “nominate” your present husband (child’s stepfather) to be the child’s guardian and to have custody of the child in the event of your death. While this is not binding on the court, it nonetheless is the “official” way by which your preference carries some degree of weight after your death.

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