Legal Question in Family Law in Arizona

Death of custodial parent

Q. My ex-husband died last week. Our minor daughter is visiting with me

for the summer per our decree and will be staying with me thereafter.

I am the non-custodial parent. He had since gotten married with child.

She (his widow) is informing me that under Arizona law I will be

required to grant her visitation by the courts standards unless she and I can

come to an agreement. Can you verify? And lastly, there was no will.

Is my daughter entitled to a portion of his disability (former military)

or any other financial aspect? I am aware of survivor benefits and

that's it....He left all insurance monies to his wife.

Thank you in advance,

Asked on 6/24/07, 2:25 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Keith Engelke Law Office of S. Keith Engelke

Re: Death of custodial parent

Generally you would file a motion to modify the court order because of this change in circumstances. Also you need to know the law that applies. Normally the court of continuing jurisdiction is in the state where the child resides.

You need to talk with a military lawyer about the disability benefits.

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Answered on 6/24/07, 4:06 pm

Rich Peters R. J. Peters & Assoc., P.C.

Re: Death of custodial parent

There are some very rare occasions where a step-parent is granted visitation under these circumstances. Typically not.

We can absolutely help on the visitation topic. Unfortunately, I cannot answer the "will" questions, as I limit my practice to family law. I can refer you to a probate attorney for those questions.

I can explain the visitation issues better by phone or in person. As you can imagine, there is too much to cover via e'mail. We offer free 1/2 hour consultations, in which we can discuss the matter in more detail.

Please call me directly to discuss the specifics of your case, or contact my assistant Alicia or my paralegal Jennifer to schedule a free 1/2 hour consultation.

/s/ Rich J. Peters, Attorney



1422 N. 2nd Street, Suite 100

Phoenix, Arizona 85004


602.254.1229 (facsimile)

see our web page at

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Answered on 6/28/07, 8:03 pm

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