The financial support of a child is something that should not be taken lightly. In some cases, a person may die, and leave behind a surviving child or children. In certain cases, our Texas estate dispute attorneys can help secure child support from an estate. Read this blog post on the topic for more information.
Child Support Claims against an Estate
When someone who has a duty to pay child support passes away, one of the first questions concerns future child support payments. This issue involves a look at both family and probate law.
Texas family law provides that future child support payments survive the death of the person who has to pay (“obligor”). This requirement is also included in many divorce decrees and child support orders. So when the obligor passes away, the estate of the obligor is still liable for the amount of the future child support payments. The amount of future payments is calculated by adding up the total payments the obligor would have made if he or she had lived, and then discounting that amount, since the payments will not be paid out over time.
In many circumstances, the obligor will have taken out a life insurance policy from which the child support obligation may be satisfied. If the obligor did not have a life insurance policy at the time of death, then the future child support payments are classified as a claim against the obilgor’s estate. The person who is entitled to receive child support (“obligee”) essentially becomes a creditor of the obligor’s estate. In the Texas Estates Code’s scheme of creditor priority, child support claims enjoy their own priority and are paid from estate proceeds after such expenses as funeral costs, expenses of administration, and payment of secured debt such as mortgages. This priority exists not only for unpaid future child support, but for any unpaid child support arrearages as well.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this informative blog post on estate disputes and the issues surrounding child support under Texas law. In all cases, if you are involved in a dispute over an estate or potentially litigation, please reach out to one of our Texas estate dispute attorneys for an initial phone consultation.