Advice if my ex partner passed away

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  • #25970 Report


    Recently my ex partner has discovered she has a medical condition which makes her prone to heart attacks so she is making preparations for her kids in case the worst should happen.

    She has 6 children, 1 with me and 5 from her previous long term relationship.

    We were talking about it the other day and she dropped into conversation that because the father of her other 5 children isn’t around or involved she is leaving responsibility for them with her aunt and uncle who currently takes care of our son when we are both at work. During this conversation I brought up about our son and him coming with me to which I was told that she is also writing in her will that he goes to her aunt and uncle with the other 5 “as to not split them up”.

    Can she do this? I am on his birth certificate and I’m a very active parent as well as paying child support for him so it’s not like I’m not involved with him or have any parental rights. Will I have to challenge this in court and risk not having him because surely he would be better off with his birth father?

    My other concern is with me working away during the week and only being at home at weekends is that my job will push the court in favour of her decision as opposed to me having care, my mother (His biological grandmother) has said she would give up work to take care of him during the week so I can continue my career for a couple of years until I build up enough experience to move in to a similarly paid role closer to home, would this be a viable solution in the eyes of a judge?

    #26012 Report

    Hi JRR-Rob

    It sounds like you could do with some legal advice for this situation.  Here is an agency that may be able to provide you with some information.
    Child Law advice service – they again provide legal advice on family law issues related to children, so if you are thinking of stopping contact they have information on their website about this, and a helpline staffed by legal specialists 0300 330 5480

    Hope that helps, Justine

    #26019 Report


    Hi rob. My understanding from my conversation with solicitor on the same topic is that if there are two unmarried parents on the birth certificate and one dies, the child is the responsibility of the other. With some obvious exceptions such as safeguarding, the other parent being willing, not in prison etc.

    Anyone wishing to overturn that would need to go to court and prove that the best interests of the child are served by some other arrangement.

    my issue was my ex would be unwilling to provide a home for child so I had to put a provisional alternative arrangement in writing.

    #26408 Report


    She has no order in place that says he resides with her, there’s no orders in place at all.

    I see him every single weekend when I’m home from work so I have regular contact but I’d hope that if she passed away he’d be coming to live full time with me. I’d give up my job and find something back in my home town if I had to but I wouldn’t expect to have to fight anyone in court to the rights to my own son living with me, I would expect that as his dad I was naturally the one he would come to.

    #26450 Report


    Limited knowledge but I do know that in a situation like yours many factors would come into play; age of child, frequency of contact with you and how long that contact was for, financial support and the wishes of the child who may express desires to be with you or to stay with their siblings.

    I would definitely take some legal advice.

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