According to the CDC, about 40% of children are born to unmarried women. In Florida, the mother of a child born outside of marriage is the natural guardian with sole legal rights in respect to the child unless you prove paternity.
The definition of paternity according to Merriam-Webster is the “quality or state of being a father.” That can be pretty ambiguous, and what constitutes paternity varies from state to state. In Florida, legal fatherhood is not necessarily the same as biological fatherhood. If a child is born in wedlock, that child is automatically considered the child of the man the mother is married to. Unless the biological father’s paternity is established, he has no rights or obligations to the child.
No matter the circumstances, having a parent pass away is an emotionally challenging time for the whole family. Even if a couple is separated or divorced, the challenges after a family member passes can be extremely painful. Children of divorced parents can have a particularly difficult time coping when one of them passes away.
Regardless of what your feelings toward your ex were, it’s important to be supportive of children who are experiencing extreme emotions after the death of their parent. In order to offer the best emotional support for your family, it’s important to know the logistics of what happens after a parent dies. We’ve compiled a list of the most important things to know to get you started.