The unfortunate passing of one parent of a minor child is always an occasion for deep sadness and profound loss. As a parent is the main support for a child both emotionally and financially, it can be devastating to the child to lose such a significant person in their life. Here are the 3 main things that you need to know:
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California is a state that has a bright line rule that determines who takes custody of a child, as stated in California Family Code section 3010(b): If one parent is dead . . . the other parent is entitled to custody of the child.
What happens if the child is with relatives or caretakers? Immediate action is needed in order to protect the stability of the child. A surviving parent under the statute needs to seek quick resolution consistent with the best interests of the child, which includes:
- Filing quickly in court to ensure that they are awarded custody.
- Making sure that their child attends regular grief counseling or therapy to help them cope with their loss.
- Realize every case is unique and will have its own challenges, including other family members battling to take control of a child through a variety of legal remedies.
The Provinziano & Associates team stands ready to take immediate action to assist families by providing compassionate representation to maintain the well-being of a child in the face of such an incredible loss.