Does custody always immediately go to the nearest immediate family member? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 41 Old 01-08-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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If you are not getting a will because of the expense, I would recommend contacting your (or your DP's) benefits department or Employee Assistance Program. We were able to get a very simple will (which is all we need) for free through legalzoom.com as a benefit from my company.

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#32 of 41 Old 01-08-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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#33 of 41 Old 01-08-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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#34 of 41 Old 01-11-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
Lucky you. My parents have already stated that they disagree with our decision and they intend to take it to court and fight it, assuming they are still alive and kicking. So both DH and I have made sure our wills are good, accessible, that the designated guardians know where everything they need is. I have also enclosed a letter to the judge, knowing that it will have no legal status but in hopes that she/he might take it into account should the need arise.

And none of us likes to think of these things and the discussion is uncomfortable, even with you mostly agree with your DH (as we did). It sucks, to be honest. But its necessary and part of parenting, I think. Sort of like getting up at 2 AM because your child needs you.
Yep, I have some unsavory relatives that would try to get my kids just for the insurance money alone. My will is sewn up pretty tight for this reason. With guardians and a set of back-up guardians in case some happens to the first couple that I cannot foresee.
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#35 of 41 Old 01-18-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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what do you do when you realize there isn't really anyone in your life that you'd be 100% happy with having guardianship of your kids? many people in my family are fundementally religious, which isn't something i'd be totally comfortable having my kids raised in. as it is, my sister or my parents would be my first choice, since they're at least mentally and financially stable, and people who i know would love my kids and treat them well, but the religious thing and the fact that basically NONE of our values really overlap still bothers me. my husband's parents are pretty old (in mentality, as much as in years) and probably wouldn't be interested in or capable of raising small kids. there is a deadbeat brother on his side too, and a few cousins and aunts and uncles... no one really suitable. our closest friends are still young and unattached, our more family-oriented friends are not as close, and in many cases, live on other sides of the globe!

i'd be more likely to choose my parents over my sister, because i feel they at least know me better, and they live closer... did anyone choose a sibling over a parent based solely on age and stage of life? my sister and i have some issues that go waaaay back, and while i like my BIL, he's only been in our family for a couple of years... somehow it seems wrong to send my kids to live in another country with a sister i don't really get along with and a BIL i barely know.

i should add that we only have one kid, and she's still living inside me, but my husband and i want to start working on this and have a plan that will be feasible for the next few years at least (of course, we'd re-evaluate our will as we have kids and they get older, and maybe as our circle of support changes).
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#36 of 41 Old 01-19-2010, 01:35 AM
 
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did anyone choose a sibling over a parent based solely on age and stage of life?
Yes, pretty much. We chose my sister over my dad even though dad is in many ways a better fit. He lives closer to us (in the same town actually so DS wouldn't even have to change schools.) He is more supportive of DS's vegetarianism. He has a somewhat more stable life (my sister tends to divorced/change partners every few years.) Etc.

My father is in his 80s, he really only just manages to take care of himself and the cat. He can't drive after dark. He's easily flustered. His house it in terrible shape and he isn't up to fixing it up (or maintaining ours if he moved here so ours wouldn't end up in similar shape pretty quickly.) I really just don't think he is up to taking care of DS anymore.

30 years ago when I was still a kid, he was a great dad, and now he's a wonderful grandpa. However, age really has taken a toll on him.


One of the realities is there probably isn't a 100% perfect choice. I know I haven't been a 100% perfect parent (though at least I share all my own values {though don't always live up to them .}) You just need to pick the very best available person you can. Also, remember you can give some people physical custody but others legal responsibility, if that helps combine two less than ideal people into a good team.

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#37 of 41 Old 01-19-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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did anyone choose a sibling over a parent based solely on age and stage of life?
Dh and I spent YEARS trying to figure this out. We came up with a very complicated list of permanent guardians (five back-ups) and trustees (three separate ones, plus back-ups). In the end, we didn't go with any of our siblings or parents, but the guardians we chose will continue the relationships our children have with all their extended family.
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#38 of 41 Old 01-19-2010, 02:19 AM
 
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This is a good question. I am a choicemom (ie, conceived with anonymous donor sperm) In addition, my extended family do not live in this country (US). I assume that if something were to happen to me, that my mother would be called, and custody given to her (though she does not live here) otherwise kids would end up in foster care. This is hardly in their interests. Dont courts look to whats in childs interests?
I wouldn't assume that the court would contact your mom in another country and give custody to her. We had a will made up with an attorney, and the person we would like DS to go to if we were both to pass away is my husband's sister who lives in another country. The attorney we worked with said she has never really seen the court system here seek out a person in another country and coordinate to get a child to that person. They just don't have the jurisdiction to do something like that. So, we have my brother, who lives in the US, and in the same state as us, as the person in our will that DS should go to. He would then transfer custody to my husband's sister when appropriate. All parties are aware of this plan, and agree to it. It isn't the most direct, and would require 2 transitions for DS, but it seemed like the least complicated way, legally, to transfer custody to a person in another country.
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#39 of 41 Old 01-19-2010, 12:45 PM
 
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We choose my brother and SIL because we felt they would be the most likely to follow our wishes, even if they did not agree 100%. My parents would be the most ideal as far as values, religion, education, etc but we did not choose them because they are older. It was important for us to be able to "place" our children with a couple close to our age that was planning on having children of their own. My parents know that we are counting on them to help guide brother and SIL in raising our children.

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#40 of 41 Old 01-19-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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papayapetunia has excellent information.

The one thing that I would add to her information is that you may not need to pay an attorney. The legal services organizations for many states have simple instructions on how to write a will and how to set up emergency guardianships for children. Many organizations put these instructions on line and publish them in brochures. A google search on this can be a gold-mine.

The rules differ by state, so make sure you're looking at the rules for your state.

In my state (Illinois), we have dealt with this in both our will and using forms that set up something called "a stand-by guardian." The stand-by guardian form states that it becomes effective when both parents are not capable to act or dead and is terminated when a parent's doctor certifies that the parent can act again. The stand-by guardianship gives people the time to take our will to probate court. Our will names the person that should have custody of the children. (In our case, it's the same person.)

Our stand-by guardian has a copy of the guardianship forms and the wills.


Illinois legal services has free information on both wills and guardianships. Their information includes forms that are free and that you can fill out for yourself.

Most legal services for most states do, too.
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#41 of 41 Old 01-19-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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Hi, but there is no other family in this country, so the alternative is foster care. Is it really true that children would go to foster care when the contact information of their grandmother, who resides in another country, and who could come here on news of my death with a copy of my notarized statement, stating my wish to give her my custody, that courts would put my children in foster care?

And frankly, i should ntneed a notarized statement, since grandma is nearest of kin.

I guess the mind boggles really.

There would noone else to claim my children, and so no court case really.
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