If something were to happen to my fiance and he passed away, would I have any rights to keep his children with me?

My fiance has residential custody of his two sons 3 and 20 months. The birth mother has visitation every other weekend, but she never shows and hasn’t seen them in almost a year. If we were married would it help them stay with me? Or is there any forms he can file like a Will or co-guardianship that would make sure the kids get to stay with me once he passes?

Asked on September 8, 2012 under Family Law, Ohio


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You sound like a wonderful spouse to be and the children are very fortunate to have you.  But legally their Mother would be the person to whom they go unless she is deemed unfit or voluntarily gives up that right (and you adopt) or consents to you being appointed their legal guardian.  Their divorce agrement will have a bearing on the matter here so I would consult with an attorney in your area who can eview the matter in detail.  Good luck.

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