Appointing a legal guardian for minor children in a will
I have a minor child from a previous marriage. After my divorce in 1999 the biological father of my daughter relinquished all legal rights to our daughter. I am getting married again very soon. I am trying to write a will. I need to know how to assign custody (a legal guardian) of my child. If something were to happen to myself and my new husband would my ex-husband get custody of her or can I, being her only 'legal parent', assign custody of her to my mother or my new husband's mother? Or in the case of my death, would my new husband gain legal custody of her? (if stated in the will as so?)
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: Appointing a legal guardian for minor children in a will
If the father has truly relinqished his rights, you have a court order saying that he has done so. Typically that is not done without an accompanying step-parent adoption. If there is no court order on the relinqishment the bio father still has full rights. If there has been an adoption the adoptive father is treated as if he were the bio father. If you are writing your will talk it over with your attorney. This is not a situation where writing your own will is a good idea. You could make your child's life miserable if it is not done right.