One of the greatest fears every parent has is leaving their minor child behind. The emotional issues are significant and parents hope to arrange a custody arrangement that will ensure the child’s emotional safety. It’s important that you consult with a family law attorney to make plans in the case of your unexpected demise. If you don’t have a will, the courts will make decisions that may not be in line with your wishes.
If you don’t have a will, the Arizona state laws will apply and family law courts will make decisions. Your family will be the most likely candidates to receive custody of your children if both parents die. If your child is old enough, the family law courts may ask his/her opinion of where he or she would like to live if both parents should happen to die at the same time.
The state child custody laws in Arizona will rule in favor of the surviving parent as long as that parent lives in Arizona and has a relationship with the child. However, if the surviving parent has a bad relationship with the child or could potentially hurt the child, the court may grant custody elsewhere, possibly to family members or non-relatives. If you are still married, the surviving spouse will automatically get custody unless there is a significant concern about the parent.
A family law attorney can advise you and your co-parent about the laws that apply if one or both of you are deceased. It’s important to make a will outlining your wishes in the case of your mutual deaths. This will protect your child by providing your child with a safe, nurturing environment.
You can make a will using software, forms or online forms. However, these forms will not provide you the protection you need when it comes to protecting minor children. You should consult a family law attorney to ensure that you’ve covered all potential issues. It’s also important to note that many people fill out the forms incorrectly. This is a serious concern because your wishes for the child or children could be unclear. A family law attorney can ensure that your wishes are as clear as possible and your intentions are unclear.