If minor children should face the death of their custodial parent, there is always a question of who will become their guardian. There may be several relatives considering adoption, or the non-custodial parent may wish to be granted full custody of children under these circumstances. No matter what the desires of people involved with the children, sound decisions must be made on their behalf, and this normally occurs in family court.
If the deceased custodial parent was the mother of the children, and the biological father wants custody, there are certain requirements in each state that must be met to establish paternity. In any case, the father must make a formal acknowledgment by showing that he signed the birth certificate or by filing various paternity documents within the family court system.
When children lose their custodial parent, relatives or family friends may want to petition the court for physical custody. Anyone who desires to adopt or become a guardian to the children would likely need to show the court that a relationship exists with the children whose custody is in question. However, the family court judge will always act with the best interests of the child in mind.
It might be helpful for people involved in cases like this to consult with a family law attorney. When it comes to child custody issues of this type, the courts carefully weigh all of the evidence and testimony. If a suitable home is not found among relatives or friends in a reasonable amount of time, children may sometimes be placed in the state's foster care system until their case is decided.