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Can Child Support Be Taken From Life Insurance?


Contemplating the loss of a loved one is undoubtedly difficult. However, it’s important to address the necessary issues that may arise in the aftermath. When a parent responsible for child support passes away, certain obligations may persist. After all, the children still require the same level of support despite the tragic loss of their parent. This leads to a common question: Can child support be taken from life insurance?

The attorneys at The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC explains the life insurance obligations of a child support obligor.

Houston Child Support Obligation Attorneys

Lawyers at The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC are experienced in resolving child support and family law cases in the greater Houston area, including Harris County and the surrounding counties of Fort Bend, Waller, Montgomery, Grimes, Waller, and Washington.

If you have questions regarding the life insurance and other child support obligations, contact us to schedule a free consultation. We are dedicated to helping you through the difficult processes involved in a divorce, child support, and other family law.

The duty to support a child exists until a child reaches the age of 18 or stops attending high school. If the child is disabled before his 18th birthday, this obligation can last even longer than that. This duty exists whether the parent who owes the child support is alive or passes away before the child’s 18th birthday.

What Happens When a Parent Dies?

When the parent who owes child support dies, his child support obligation does not die with him. Instead, it accelerates and is due immediately. The child support payments will become a claim against the deceased parent’s estate.

In some cases, the court may order the parent making child support payments to secure life insurance. This is to cover the amount of child support that would become due if the parent were to die. It ensures that the child support obligation will be covered, especially when the estate does not have enough money to pay the child support claim.

Will the Court Require Me to Buy Life Insurance?

The court will not order a parent to buy life insurance in every case. If you have few assets, or the court has reason to believe that your estate will not have enough money to pay your obligation after you die, then it is more likely it will order you to buy life insurance.

Section 154.016 of the Family Code gives the court the authority to order …” a child support obligor to obtain and maintain a life insurance policy, including a decreasing term life insurance policy, that will establish an insurance-funded trust or an annuity payable to the obligee for the benefit of the child that will satisfy the support obligation under the child support order in the event of the obligor’s death.”

Things that a court should consider when deciding whether and how much life insurance to obtain include:

  1. The present value of all monthly payments owed from the date child support payments was ordered to the month the child covered by the obligation turns 18.
  2. The present value of all health and dental insurance premiums required for the child from the date child support was initially ordered until the month he or she turns 18.
  3. Any special considerations that the law takes into account when determining if a disabled child will continue to require support after exceeding 18 years of age.

When mandated by the court to carry this insurance, the obligated parent may be required to produce proof of such coverage upon request.

In either case, our attorneys encourage all parents to buy life insurance. It protects the children if something happens to the parent before the child reaches eighteen.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, after a parent responsible for child support passes away, their legal obligations persist. While child support usually ends with the paying parent’s death, life insurance benefits could potentially continue supporting the children financially. However, whether child support can be directly taken from life insurance depends on state laws, policy terms, and any existing agreements or court orders. Seeking legal advice is crucial to navigate this complex issue and prioritize the children’s best interests after such a loss.

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  4. Texas Child Support Appeals
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