If I do not have a written Will but do have primary custody of the children, does custody automatically get granted to the other parent when I pass away?

Asked on October 22, 2014 under Estate Planning, Maine


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Absent a Court order that states otherwise, parents have the ultimate right to their children.  Do you mean here that you have shared parental rights and responsibilities but you have the children for primary residence?  Then your spouse would have the right to the children. Understand, though, that even if you wrote a Will that does not change. He or she would contest your attempt to have the children go elsewhere.  Speak with a lawyer.  Good luck.

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