Maternal Grandmother As Guardian

by Anonymous from Florida

Is there a document, aside from a Will, that I can sign and/or have notarized, stating that I want my mother to take my daughter if I died? I'm single and never married to the father of my child and he abandoned us as well as broke my windshield, abuses drugs and is extremely verbally and mentally abusive.

I understand he could try to fight my mother for custody when she has the baby but she's a tough cookie so....what can I do?

Can I just type my own letter and have it notarized? I am fearful of him deciding to come here and take her if I died and bringing her out of the state and over to the rest of his family which he openly admits is extremely abusive and dysfunctional and also abuse drugs and alcohol.

We have no court agreements or anything. He calls to ask how "we're" doing once in a while and that's about it. He has sent small amounts of money here and there in the past ($50 give or take). Thank you for your help!

Oh my daughter is under a year old as well. He left when she was a month old, came back when she was about 3 months old and stayed for a week and left again. She is now 6 months old. Thanks!!

Answer to Florida Child Custody Question

Dear Anonymous,

First of all it sounds to me like your ex has abandoned your child.

And the fact that the two of you were never married, and he does not pay child support may mean that he does not really have any paternal rights at all.

The simplest thing for you to do is most likely to go ahead and prepare a Last Will and Testament in which you name your mother as the child's guardian. You may also need to name a second person, just in case your mother dies before you.

I found the following information about choosing a legal guardian for your child online at the Baby Center website:
What is a legal guardian, and why do I need one for my child?

A legal guardian is an adult designated to care for your child in the event that you and his other parent both die before he reaches adulthood. While the thought of that might make you shudder, you need to choose a guardian so the courts don't do it for you.

If you think your mother or sister will automatically receive custody of your child if you die, you're mistaken. Unless you specifically name a guardian in your will, anyone can step forward and ask for the job, and a judge will decide who wins custody.

If you and your spouse or partner have separate wills, you should name the same person as the guardian of your child to avoid conflicts. Many parents also name an alternate guardian in case their first choice is unwilling or unable to accept the responsibility.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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