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What happens when a support provider dies?

Many parents rely on the support of their former partner to cover the expenses associated with raising a child. According to the Congressional Research Service, child support payouts can cumulatively amount to $22.5 billion in a single year. These funds are often a lifesaver for families, but what happens when a provider of child support passes away? The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the death.

Parents who are still in need of support after the death of a provider may be able to attain it in several ways. It is important to research your legal options if you want to ensure the coverage of your child's needs and that you receive the support you need.

Payout from life insurance policy

If the decedent had a life insurance policy, it is likely to be the first source of future support for your child. Ideally, the policy will indicate you or your child as beneficiaries. Even if it does not, however, you may still be entitled to proceeds from the payout to cover the expenses of future child support. This will depend on the stipulations of the policy itself. 

Children can sue to get arrears

A balance of child support will start accruing as soon as the provider is no longer paying. Death typically does not halt this balance from compounding, so it may go into arrears. A child who is the age of majority may be eligible to sue the estate of his or her parent for the balance that is owed on unpaid child support. 

Compensation for wrongful death

Any death is tragic, but if your ex's passing was a result of negligence, its preventability can make the situation all the more painful. As a person who relied on the financial support of the decedent, you may be able to pursue legal action against a party who was responsible for the wrongful death. The potential compensation could cover the costs of child support.

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