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Is child support affected when a parent dies?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2021 | Family Law

There might be no situation that has a bigger effect on a child’s life than a parent’s death. And as some families in New York might have encountered, dealing with a parent’s death when there are child support payments involved can make a difficult situation even harder. However, in most cases, child support payments will continue in one way or another, as it is in the best interests of the child since these payments are meant to allow the child to continue growing in a stable environment.

What happens when the custodial parent dies?

When the custodial parent dies, the way child support payments will be handled depends on the custody situation. If the non-custodial parent takes on the responsibility of full custody, then that parent should be able to seek child support payments from the deceased parent’s estate and from other financial sources, such as assets, retirement accounts, and Social Security benefits. If another person assumes custody, then that person should be able to seek support payments from both the non-custodial parent and the deceased parent’s estate.

What happens when the custodial parent dies?

When the custodial parent dies, child support payments should be able to continue. Financial support from the deceased non-custodial parent can be sought in different ways. These include:

• A life insurance policy, particularly if it lists the child as beneficiary
• Social Security benefit payments
• Assets and what is established in the deceased parent’s will
• Retirement accounts
• The deceased parent’s estate

As with many other issues related to custody and support, each family’s case is different so their issues and avenues to resolve them will also be unique. Each state will also require some different steps for families to go about showing a parent’s death and how to ensure that child support payments continue.