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Can a common-law spouse sue for custody of the child?

  1. landscapeartist profile image78
    landscapeartistposted 6 years ago

    Can a common-law spouse sue for custody of the child?

    My husband and I are separated.  If he was to pass away tomorrow, could his girlfriend sue for custody of our son?


  2. ChristinS profile image96
    ChristinSposted 6 years ago

    She would have no legal grounds to do so that I can see since she is not the mother or related to the child.  I would assume that if your husband passed away that you would have sole custody.

  3. danajconnelly profile image71
    danajconnellyposted 6 years ago

    It depends on the laws of the state you live in.  I know that in New York you can sue for just about anything, but a live in girlfriend?  I sincerely doubt it..  I avoided doing the custody arrangements through the courts.  My ex and I wrote up an agreement and had it notarized for good measure.  However if other factors such as the parental ability of either party is in question that does complicate things and the courts should be involved.  I hope this helps.

  4. delaneyworld profile image78
    delaneyworldposted 6 years ago

    She would have no grounds.  It would be like a stranger deciding they want your child.  No way.

  5. Eliminate Cancer profile image60
    Eliminate Cancerposted 6 years ago

    I assume yes, whether they have a valid argument and rights are up to the judge to decide.  Anyone can do it, but it's very expensive, and unlikely if they don't have a good chance of winning.

  6. nightwork4 profile image61
    nightwork4posted 6 years ago

    i doubt it unless she is raising the child. i'm guessing it is different all over the place but generally speaking, she would fail in her attempts.

  7. brakel2 profile image80
    brakel2posted 6 years ago

    I don't think it can be recognized as common law if the two of you are separated but still legally married. In my opinion, you would have custody. Common law means that the couple is known in the community as man and wife and other stipulations. He already has a wife.