Give notice to people related to the child if a parent is deceased

If the other parent is not alive, you will need to have a copy of the court papers delivered to the person the child lives with along with some of the child's relatives. This is called serving papers.

This means another adult, not you, hands or mails them a copy of the filed papers. This person is your server. Your server must complete a form and file it with the court to prove they delivered the papers.

Who to serve

If the deceased parent openly behaved as the child's parent, your server must deliver a copy of the Petition and Summons to:

  • The person or people that the child lives with
  • The child's siblings, half-siblings, and grandparents (on both sides)

Your server can mail or hand deliver copies of all the court papers to each of these people at least 15 days before the first court date in the case. For each person that your server delivers a copy of the papers to, your server should fill out either the Proof of Service by Mail (form FL-335) or the Proof of Personal Service (form FL-330).

If you are not the child's living parent, your server must also hand deliver copies to the child's living parent.

If you cannot find one of the people you need to serve, you can ask the judge to waive the requirement. This means the judge can let your case move forward even if you don't find them. Talk to your court's Self-Help Center about how to do this. 

If the deceased parent and the child did not have a relationship (for example, if the parent died before the child was born), talk to your Self-Help Center or an attorney to get information about your situation and how to serve papers.

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