Does Support Stop When The Paying Person Dies?

If your ex has recently passed away, do not panic. The spousal support and child support arrangements that were in place can still continue. These payments do not have to end with the end of your ex's physical life. Spousal support is designed to continue for as long as it takes a divorced spouse to adapt to the divorce and become self-sufficient.In many instances, courts do not specify the length of this period, and spousal support payments can continue until the person receiving payment dies or remarries. If the paying spouse dies before either condition occurs, the court can order payment to continue through the paying spouse's estate. This estate may contain money that can be used to directly pay or assets may be liquidated in order to gain the necessary funds. It basically comes down to the language contained in the court order regarding support. The parties are free to agree to terminate support upon the death of the payor, but absent such an agreement (which is often "snuck" into the divorce agreement by the paying spouse's attorney) the language of the court order might be either ambiguous enough to allow for an argument that the payments should continue after death, or maybe the order will simply say that outright. 

Child support may also continue following the death of one parent. Courts believe that this is necessary in order to protect children of divorce from suddenly falling into poverty if one parent dies. In this case, child support payments could be made through the payor's life insurance policy (if one is present) or from the assets of the payor's estate. Parents who pay child support sometimes have life insurance, either through their own initiative or because of a court order.

So don't worry. If your spouse passes away while paying alimony and child support, the payments may still continue. Be sure to consult a legal professional for help in the wake of your ex's death. The right counsel can make all the difference in your ability to continue receiving payment.

  • AV Preeminent Martindale Hubbell lawyers Ratings State Bar Of California | California Board of Legal Specialization Ventura County  bar association | Est. 1928 The State Bar of California Beverly Hills Bar Association ABA Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice
  • San Fernando Valley Bar Association LACBA | Los Angeles County Bar Association Avvo Super lawyers TLC | Los Angeles | Trial Lawyers Charities

Contact Us for a Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response

Contact Information

Calabasas Office
23501 Park Sorrento
Suite 103
Calabasas, CA 91302

Map & Directions

Beverly Hills Office
433 North Camden Drive
Suite 600
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Map & Directions

Click to View Offices