I am a single mother. My son’s father hasn’t been in his life since he was 4 months old (he will be 6 y/o in 2 weeks). I have no idea where he is, he does not pay child support, and we were never married. If something were to ever happen to me, I would want guardianship of my son to go to the person of my choosing (either my brother or cousin). My son’s father is on his birth certificate, but chooses not to be around. What steps do I need to take to ensure that he would not get custody of my son if something ever happened to me? Thank you.
ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU:
You nominate a guardian through a will. As the child’s father has not given up parental rights, the court will make an attempt to notify him. It is presumed that the surviving parent is the most fit person to take care of the child. Your nominee will have to prove otherwise.
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Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.
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The family law attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provide legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.