What happens to the child if the mother dies and the father was never around, but mom didn't have full custody?
Say there’s a three year old who has always lived with her mother, and has only seen her father on 3 – 4 occasions since she was born – but the father signed the birth certificate, and although he never comes around, the mother never sued for full custody. The father lives 200 miles away. The child has a very close relationship with the mother’s family, who lives in the nearby area.
If the mother dies, will the child still automatically go to the custody of her father, despite the fact that the child will be plunged into a place she’s never been to, surrounded by people she doesn’t know, and ripped away from the people she has known all her life? Or would the child be placed with the mother’s immediate family, at least temporarily?
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.