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Guardianship of child if single parent dies but other parent has PR, please help,

(7 Posts)
Worryingnamechanger Wed 18-Sep-13 15:11:11

I've been having some health problems lately and its made me realise I don't really understand what happens to my 18 month old dd if I were to die. Does she automatically go to the other parent? Can my family raise her?

At the moment, her dad pays maintenance weekly and always on time (touch wood). We live 100 miles or so away from him. He hasn't seen her in six and a half months and hasn't spoken to her on the phone (so she can hear his voice) or webcam for two months. We haven't heard from him at all comfor a month now. He has promised for a while that he would come and see her at the end of August but we've had radio silence instead. I haven't chased him up because I've done that for 6 months so can't anymore.

Worryingnamechanger Wed 18-Sep-13 15:11:27

Argh stupid phone, still typing!

Worryingnamechanger Wed 18-Sep-13 15:15:31

Carrying on:

At the moment, her dad pays maintenance weekly and always on time (touch wood). We live 100 miles or so away from him. He hasn't seen her in six and a half months and hasn't spoken to her on the phone (so she can hear his voice) or webcam for two months. We haven't heard from him at all completely for a month now. He has promised for a while that he would come and see her at the end of August but we've had radio silence instead. I haven't chased him up because I've done that for 6 months so can't anymore. When he was supposed to come a few months back, he said he had no money (but I know through other people he has been buying a lot of collectables and has a new tattoo).

If I died, would I be able to have her live with my family? She sees my mum twice a week at least and will be going to the nursery she runs when she's two years old. She also speaks to my dad on the webcam and phone weekly and sees my sisters and their children every month or so. She doesn't know her dads family at all (not for want of trying at first).

I just don't understand how it works and I'm terrified he can drag her away from her whole life if I did just because of a piece of paper and maintenance. I don't know what to do or what I can actually do so any advice please would be really appreciated!

STIDW Wed 18-Sep-13 17:01:45

Were you married or does the father have Parental Responsibility by other means?

Worryingnamechanger Wed 18-Sep-13 17:34:41

We werent married but he has parental responsibility from being on the birth certificate.

calmingtea Wed 18-Sep-13 18:47:40

I think that because he has PR that in essence yes he could. However, your family could apply to court to raise her. I would suggest you speak to a family lawyer, or solicitor that deals with wills and get advice. What I have done is write a will with a supporting letter why I feel that a similar situation to yours should be so and in my will who I nominate as my chosen guardians. As your child gets a bit older, she will start having a voice as far as court is concerned and can choose. I think it is worth considering the age of guardians too, depending on whether your parents are young or older, as this may have an impact.

mumblechum1 Thu 19-Sep-13 12:50:15

You can appoint guardians in your will, and as Calming says, put a separate letter with the will (which can be destroyed when your child is 18 with no harm done to anyone's feelings).

You do have to be aware, though, that the appointment is not binding on any court which is asked to consider an application under the Children Act. So your ex could apply for a residence order, and the guardians would then have to make a counter application and ultimately the court would decide what was in your child's best interests. The letter with your will would be considered alongside other evidence such as the Cafcass officer's recommendation.

In your will, you could also express the wish that the Guardians encourage and facilitate direct and indirect contact between your child and the father.

I am a will writer and frequently deal with this problem, so if you want any further info, feel free to PM me.

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