No one wants to think about the tragic loss of a loved one, but if it happens, there are often issues that must be resolved in the following months.
If a parent who owes child support dies, there are obligations that remain in place, since the children still need the same amount of help regardless of the unfortunate loss of their parent. The attorneys at The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC will explain the life insurance obligations that a child support obligor may have.
Houston Child Support Obligation Attorneys
The attorneys 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 obligations you may have in supporting your child, contact a family law attorney in Houston to schedule a free consultation. We are dedicated to helping you through the difficult processes involved in 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, to cover the amount of child support that would become due if the parent were to die. The purpose of ordering the parent to buy life insurance is to ensure that the child support obligation will be covered, even if 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 to protect their children in the event that something happens to the parent before the child reaches eighteen
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.