Child Support and Parental Death 

Divorce Lawyer

Do My Child Support Payments Continue After the Other Parent’s Death? 

“Obligee” is the term used to refer to the caretaker awarded child support by a court order. If the worst were to happen and your obligee were to pass away, there are many practical and financial issues that need to be sorted. A common question from people in this situation is whether their child support obligations continue after the death. Section 154.013 of the Texas Family Code states that death of an obligee in no way terminates child support obligations. So, yes, payments must continue to be made. 

Post-death, the child support payments will be directed to a new obligee. The new obligee will fall into one of five categories:

  • A person, other than yourself, who is the new managing conservator of the child. 
  • A person, including yourself, who has assumed caretaking responsibilities toward the child if a managing conservator or guardian has not been appointed. 
  • The county clerk, to be deposited in an account in the child’s name. 
  • The child’s new guardian, as appointed by a will.
  • The child themself, if now an adult or emancipated minor. 

However, while the death of an obligee does not end child support obligations, it does not prevent you from ending said obligations either. The obligor (person obligated to pay child support) can pursue a modification to alter the terms of their child support / custody order. If the obligor were to assume the position of managing conservator, child support payments would be ended. 

Will I Continue to Receive Child Support Payments After the Other Parent Dies? 

In the same vein, child support is not ended by the passing of the person making child support payments. Section 154.015 of the Texas Family Code states that, in the event of the obligor’s death, the remaining child support balance becomes payable on the date of death. This means that the remaining payments will be paid as a liquidated sum. The court will determine the amount the deceased owes to each of their children and will consider the following factors:

  • The total amount of support due between the month of the obligor’s death and the month in which the child turns eighteen. 
  • The total amount of health insurance and dental insurance premiums payable from the month in which the obligor dies until the month in which the child turns eighteen. 
  • For either minor or adult disabled children, an amount to be determined by the court under Section 154.306. 
  • The nature and amount of other benefits the child is entitled to due to the death, such as life support and trust distributions. 
  • Any other financial resources available to support the child. 

The legal and financial implications of the death of a parent or caretaker is a complex issue, best handled by experienced attorneys. To ensure the best interest of both yourself and, most importantly, the involved children, it is advisable to contact a divorce lawyer and/or probate attorney at Brandy Austin Law Firm