If Im a single parent do I have to apply for guardianship of my children?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If Im a single parent do I have to apply for guardianship of my children?

I have been a single mother since the father of my
children passed away years ago. I have been the
sole provider and supporter for both my children. Do
I need to apply for guardianship through the court

Asked on January 18, 2019 under Estate Planning, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, a biological parent automatically has legal guardianship over her minor children, unless she either voluntarily gave up those rights (e.g. so someone else could adopt them) or had her parental rights stripped away by a court (such as if she is mentally ill or a drug user and court found her an unfit parent). Unless you gave up or had parental rights taken by court order, you have parent--that is, legal guardian--rights.

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