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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Question: Today my brother Jerry when to pick up his daughter

Customer Question

question: Today my brother Jerry when to pick up his daughter Peyton age 11 in Mississippi and when he got out of his car a neighbor informed him his ex-wife had died on Thursday (yesterday). His ex-wife's family had not yet told him. When he went to their house to ask about this ex-wife the ex-inlaws were mean to him and did not let him see his daughter. Side note (he has always paid his child support and been very supportive of his daughter). He was so very disappointed that they had no plans of telling him of his ex-wife death or even about her funeral so he could be their for Peyton. What is his rights now? Does this mean he should have full custody? It feels like he may have to go to court to get full custody; and it feels like the ex-in-laws want custody. Please advise.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer. It will be my pleasure to assist you this evening. I'm so very sorry to hear what happened -what an awful way for your brother to find out that the mother of his child had passed away. Under Mississippi law, when the custodial parent dies, the surviving parent automatically receives custody unless a step-parent or third party proves to the court that it is in the best interest of the child that the natural parent not have custody. There is a presumption under Mississippi law that the best interests of children will best be preserved by remaining with the surviving parent unless (1) the surviving parent abandoned the children, (2) the conduct of the surviving parent is so immoral as to be detrimental to the children, or (3) the surviving parent is unfit mentally or otherwise to have custody of the children.Unless a family member or other third party comes forward, petitions the court, and makes the requisite showing, the surviving parent will become the custodial parent. If the ex-in-laws refuse to turn custody over to him, I would advise he contact the police and get them involved. If you have any follow-up questions, kindly use the REPLY feature and I'll be happy to assist you. Otherwise, kindly remember to leave me a positive rating as that is the only way experts on this site are compensated for their time and expertise. Thank you.

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