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cmcsolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 157
Experience:  and Mediator practicing in Cork, Ireland.
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My sister is concerned that if she should die that custody

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My sister is concerned that if she should die that custody of her son will be awarded to her ex-partner, her child’s father. She was never married to him and they split shortly after the child was born
The child’s father rarely sees him and shows almost no interest in him. Her major concerns are that he has a serious alcohol problem and is not a responsible or trustworthy parent and it would not be in the best interests of her son to live with him.
Her wish is that is that if something happened to her that one of her sisters be awarded custody, she strongly feels this would be best for her son.
In what circumstances would custody not be awarded to the child’s father? What factors would a judge take into account? Should she begin to compile evidence of the son’s father’s lifestyle to support her concerns? Is there anything else she should be doing to try and ensure her wishes for her son are followed if anything should happen to her. Her son is six years old.

cmcsolicitor :

Your sister should make a Will, appointing a testamentary guardian. The testamentary guardian would be appointed on foot of an application to the Probate Office. She

cmcsolicitor :

...she (the TG) would then be entitled to look after the child, in other words, to assume custody. If the child's father is also a guardian (I assume that this is the case and that his name is XXXXX XXXXX Birth Cert), then he would be equally entitled to assume custody. If the two guardians were not able to work out an arrangement by agreement, then one of them would make an application for access or sole or joint custody to the District Court.

cmcsolicitor :

If the two guardians could not work out an arrangement that was suitable, then the judge would have to make a decision that he considers is in the best interests of the child. If the father has a documented and treated history of alcoholism, that would certainly be a factor to be taken into account, depending on how he was coping with it at that time. Also the child's voice would be heard via an independent psychological report and possibly a guardian at litem.

cmcsolicitor :

At this stage, I would urge your sister to take the one step that she can to ensure that her wishes are respected: 1. Get her sister's consent to be appointed as testamentary guardian 2) Go to a solicitor and make a Will appointing her as testamentary guardian. 3) make sure that her executor(s) and family members know where the Will is stored.

cmcsolicitor and other Republic of Ireland Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thanks for rating my advice positively. I hope that your sister will feel more confident once she has made her Will.

Yours sincerely,
Claire McCarthy (Solicitor)