Legal Question in Family Law in Alaska

If a couple is divorced (both have parental rights, mother has primary custody, father has two days per week - court ordered), is it possible for the father to transfer his parental rights to someone(s) in the event of his death? Such as in a Will or other document. If the father should pass away, he wants my husband and I to have the legal right to be present in her life and to be able to maintain his visitation schedule. We are not close to her mother as they have been separated since the child's birth. Is this possible? What would need to be filed?

Asked on 5/06/16, 4:11 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Terrence Thorgaard Thorgaard Law Firm

No. Parental custodial and visitation rights cannot be inherited. One can leave property to others by will, but court-ordered custodial rights are not considered property as such.

If he wants you and your husband to have visitation in the event of his death, he (or better yet, you, after his death) should apply to the divorce court for such a modification. In case he dies before this can be done, he should consider creating some sort of evidence (such as an affidavit) specifying his desires in this regard, and his reasoning, but a will wouldn't have any binding effect.

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Answered on 5/07/16, 4:46 am

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