Any legal document to protect 17 3/4 y.o

Son will turn 18 in 3 months. Is there any legal document I could put in place to prevent him from having to go back to live with his father until he turns 18 if I would die before his 18th birthday? Already changed will but just concerned if something would happen to me before that time. Father is a narcisstic abuser (verbal, emotional, psychological). Have been separated since spring 2020 and plan to file for divorce as soon as legally possible in NC. Thanks.

No, there is no document you can put into place. Upon your death, custody of your minor child would automatically go to the other parent. Your family members may or may not have standing to sue the other parent for custody, however, assuming you did pass away, your child would turn 18 before any such litigation could get started.

When your son turns 18, he is free to choose where he lives and custody orders or custody terms in a separation agreement no longer apply.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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