Who gets child custody when a custodial parent dies?

Who gets child custody when a custodial parent dies?

| Jan 8, 2021 | Child Custody |

No matter how old a child is, the death of a parent can be life-changing. That may be especially so in Kentucky when child custody issues come into play and the parent who died was the custodial parent. That begs the question then, who will get primary custody of the child or children after such a tragic happening?

There are some possibilities, and it stands to reason that the first in line would be a non-custodial parent, if paternity is not in question. Here are some other possibilities:

  • Grandparents
  • Other family members, such as aunts, uncles, cousins
  • Friends of the family
  • Godparents
  • The state

The state is a last resort, but if there are no other options, the state will step in, and children will end up in the foster system. This is why relatives may wish to pursue guardianship of the children. When children are in foster care, it may become difficult to visit them, and chances are, foster parents may adopt them.

There are many variables that can affect child custody, and sadly, one of those is the death of a parent who has primary custody. Those who believe they should be in line to have custody of the children when this happens would be wise to seek the advice and guidance of a Kentucky family law attorney. Legal procedures need to be followed in this instance and in every instance when child custody is an issue, since the courts will make these often-difficult decisions in light of what is in the best interests of the children.