Child Custody After Both Parents Die 

If both parents die and there is no surviving parent, the children will be deemed the ward of the state. That means that family members have the right to petition the courts to become guardians of the children. This process can be lengthy, but it’s worth it. It also ensures that the child will receive the best possible care. However, it is important to know your rights as a parent.

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Survivor parent 

If both parents die, the child’s surviving parent will get custody of the child. However, in some extreme cases, the surviving parent may not get custody, especially if the deceased parent was abusive or neglected. In these cases, the surviving parent can petition the court for custody. 

Family friends 

Child custody after both parents die is a complicated issue. The courts look at who is the best person to care for the child. In some cases, family and friends may get custody. These relatives may not be the parent’s first choice, but they are still likely to receive the child. 

Another biological or legal parent 

If both parents die before the child turns 18, the other biological or legal parent will usually get custody of the child. This is a complicated decision, but it may affect the welfare of the child. In extreme cases, the court may decide to give custody to the non-custodial father. 


When both parents die, the courts must decide who gets custody of the children. This can be complicated, especially if one parent left no specific instructions regarding the children. In these cases, courts often appoint relatives to assume parental responsibility. Often, this is not the parent’s first choice, but the judges must follow the state code. 

Unfit parents 

Parents with a history of unfit parenting and a history of divorce will likely have a difficult time obtaining custody of their children. A judge must be convinced that one parent is unfit before granting custody to another. The court will look at evidence such as online comments and social media posts. 

Estate plan 

If both parents die, it’s important to establish an estate plan for child custody. The courts will decide where to live for the children, and who will manage the child’s money. Ultimately, the remaining assets will be given to the children once they reach the age of eighteen. 


In cases where both parents die, the court determines who will get custody of the child. The court will also consider the guardian designated in the deceased parent’s will. 

Time since the order was made 

When a parent dies, their rights to custody of the child are not automatically terminated, and the surviving parent will almost always be able to get custody. While there are certain extreme mitigating circumstances, such as past abuse or neglect, a parent will almost always have the opportunity to get custody of the child after the other parent passes away. In some cases, the deceased parent may have requested that the child be given to a relative who can take care of the child.