Legal Question in Family Law in Maryland

In the State of Maryland, if you have joint legal/physical custody of your child while living, can you transfer your parental rights as it pertains to the joint custody of the child over to another family member (for example, your husband/wife) upon your death via Last Will & Testament, or would the other parent automatically be slated to get sole custody of the child?

Asked on 3/19/16, 10:40 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Sher Wagshal and Sher

Custodial rights are not "property" transferable after death. The surviving parent would presumptively get sole custody. If there is a fitness issue as to the ability of the surviving parent, a family member could conceivable bring a court action seeking custody, but inasmuch as your co-parent already has joint custody, there would have to be a significant change in the family situation since custody was determined for such a challenge to be successful.

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Answered on 3/21/16, 6:38 am

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