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As a lone parent, if I die, can I choose who looks after DC when I'm gone?

(11 Posts)
manicmummyonadietcokebreak Mon 06-Jun-11 18:04:39

If/when I die, I don't think ex will look after them as well as I would like, so can I make it so legally my mother could? And if I leave this in a letter, will the courts take it into consideration? Or as I'm depressed will they say I was mentally unstable?

GypsyMoth Mon 06-Jun-11 18:18:33

they will take it into consideration,but if your ex wants to make a case for residency,then he has a good chance

brightwell Mon 06-Jun-11 19:48:41

I've stated in my will that I want my dc to be cared for by my Dad and to remain in our home. I moved 60 miles from ex when we split, they have friends & family in this area. I'm sure ex would kick up a stick about it but my dc are 16 & 13 & I think their views would be taken into consideration.

Newbabynewmum Mon 06-Jun-11 20:21:46

Make a will. I am doing that this week as I was worried about this tooZ I figure as my EX only has access at a contact centre he woulnt be given custody if the event occurred.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 06-Jun-11 21:36:22

I've made a will that states my DS will go to my parents if I die. My parents are pensioners so it's likely that in the next few years I'll change my will to state that he should go to my cousin and her DH (if they agree - I'll discuss it with them first of course!). The solicitor who did my will said that if I didn't have a will my ex could apply to the court for custody (even though he doesn't have PR and has never bothered DS) and I didn't want that. I feel much more comfortable having a will and it's not as expensive or time consuming as you'd think.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 06-Jun-11 21:37:11

Never bothered with DS

meditrina Mon 06-Jun-11 21:47:28

You need to make a Will, and specify guardianship in that - and also how you leave any assets to DC and who can use them on DC's behalf whilst they are still minors (guardians in sole control, do you need a trust, if so trustees, and executor - these can be same or different people). Wills can be challenged, but if you have made your wishes (and perhaps reasons) clear in this form, unless it can be shown that the proposed guardians are unsuitable, then it us very, very likely your Will will stand. You need proper legal advice in drawing it up - to assure yourself that your wishes are clear and to minimise the chances of a successful challenge.

You also need to be sure the proposed guardians are willing to have to role (if they say no, then the Courts will probably decide) and possibly consider an alternate, should they decide against it.

There are legal precedents about what constitutes unsound mind in terms of Wills - I'm pretty sure depression wouldn't count. Again, discuss with a lawyer.

A letter would be construed as evidence of your wishes, but doesn't have the legal standing of a Will.

Maelstrom Sat 11-Jun-11 00:42:23

THe will in it's own is useless, really, the nrp can contest it at any time and it is very likely s/he will get heard and their views considered.

To my knowledge, the only way you can name a guardian for your child that the court may respect is if you have a full residence order to your favour.

But I don' see way this woudn't be contested or ignored in the event of your death.

Sleepingonthebus Sat 11-Jun-11 00:46:28

In my Will, I want my children to go to my mum or my sister.

In the event of the ex contesting it, my sister is executor, so at least my money is safely sorted out for them, where he can't get his hands on it.

Riakin Mon 13-Jun-11 16:08:07

Hi a very interesting topic.

According to the Childrens Act when a parent with care dies it is automatically assumed that the other parent will have parental responsibility for the child. Since 2003 this has been further enstrengthened into law. Essentially they are the childs next of kin. A Will will not override welfare nor law.

The only instance where a court would consider otherwise all fall within the main principals of the Childrens Act such as Welfare of the child is paramount. Ergo there has to be genuine and founded welfare concerns before this would be disallowed.

Likewise the final most powerful tool is, if he is on the birth certificate and with the absence of the above. They would get custody, regardless of your will and in some instances, regardless of their own wishes...

bufforpingtonchick Mon 13-Jun-11 16:10:28

OP are you ok? Your depression combined with questions about the well-being of your DC in case of your death is causing me concern...

Sending hugs. Nothing wrong that won't get better. x

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