Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC

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What happens to your child support payments if your ex dies?

| Mar 4, 2021 | Family Law

If your child’s other parent has died, you’re likely experiencing a wide range of complicated emotions. However, you also have to take time to consider some very practical issues – like child support.

If your co-parent didn’t have an estate plan (or even just a will), can you continue to get the financial help you’ve counted on to care for your child? If you have been your child’s primary caregiver, that uncertainty can be frightening.

Sources of support

Typically, parents’ child support obligations continue even if they pass away. What that support looks like will depend on a number of things. It’s important to look in to all potential sources of support.

  • If a parent dies without an estate plan (intestate), their children are entitled to a portion of their assets under Arizona law.
  • Whether they had an estate plan or not, they may have a life insurance policy with the child named as a beneficiary.
  • Another source of continued support can be your ex’s Social Security record. Your child should be entitled to survivor benefits at least until they finish high school.

It’s essential to take action to seek these sources of support as soon as possible. If your co-parent had an estate plan, you should contact the executor. If they didn’t have one, you may need to go directly to the family court or probate court.

Don’t let anyone, including your ex’s subsequent spouse, tell you that your child isn’t entitled to any money. It’s wise to partner with an experienced attorney who can help you maneuver these various channels to get the money your child needs and to which they’re entitled.

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