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Law Office of

Chandra E. Miller

A Northern California Family Law Firm

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Children & Parents

Mediation & Collaborative Divorce

When a custodial parent dies in California

| Mar 28, 2017 | Child Custody

Family law attorneys handle many different types of cases, including those dealing with child custody modifications, but changes in custody may occur for many reasons. One instance would be when a child experiences the death of his or her custodial parent. A new guardian would need to be appointed as the responsible party until the child reaches adulthood.

However, there could be several parties interested in raising a child who has lost the custodial parent . The non-custodial parent may desire full responsibility of the child, if this person has been established, or there may be grandparents or other relatives who seek guardianship of a child in this situation. It is possible that a family friend, also known as fictive kin, requests to become the guardian of a child whose custodial parent has died.

A family court judge will typically make the legal determination regarding guardianship of children whose custodial parent has died. If children have no living relatives, no one has a suitable background, or otherwise steps up to parent the child, the state will likely take them into custody and place them into foster care. Sometimes children find adoptive homes through the state, but other times children will age out of the foster care system.

The death of a custodial parent is never easy, but anyone who wishes to take on the parental role for the child or children in question should seek advice quickly. It is important to make an interest in guardianship be known through the proper channels. In any case, the family court will always find in the best interests of the child, but an attorney might be able to represent concerned relatives or fictive kin in a child custody case such as this.