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Can I Get Child Support in Probate Court?

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2011 | Firm News |

Obligations For Child Support

All too often when a parent dies who has minor children, the custodial parent loses out on child support. This is unfortunate but it can be handled in the probate proceeding. However, time is of the essence. The parent who takes care of the child or children should be vigilant to be sure that child support is paid even though the obligated parent is deceased.

Minnesota Law On Child Support

First of all, under Minnesota Law the child is entitled to maintenance paid from the probate estate for at least 18 months after the parent’s death.

Secondly, if there is child support which is past due, the custodial parent on behalf of the child may wish to make a claim on the estate for the unpaid child support.

Divorce Decree

Furthermore, the divorce decree may contain contract obligations that the deceased parent’s estate may owe to the child or to the former spouse. This could include property settlements or support obligations that the decedent had agreed to or was ordered to perform as part of the divorce process.

The surviving parent should carefully examine the divorce decree for terms and conditions that may be enforced in the probate proceedings. Possibly even more significant is that point that the child may be entitled to a significant part of the estate of the deceased parent.

There Are Deadlines For Receiving Support

However, the child and his or her custodial parent should not wait around expecting the probate court to search out the child and give the child an inheritance or financial support rights under the Probate Code. Indeed I have seen situations where greedy or vengeful inlaws will ignore or even deny the existence of a child so that they can claim the deceased parent’s estate.

When a parent dies with a minor child who was not living with the deceased, that child’s other parent should contact a probate attorney immediately to protect the child’s rights to support and his or her inheritance.

The contents of this video are for information only and are not to be interpreted as legal advice. For personal legal advice you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in probate law or estate planning. The U.S. Treasury Department requires us to advise you that any written tax advice cannot be used and is not intended to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. Written advice from our firm relating to any Federal Tax matters may not, without our express written consent, be used in promoting, marketing or recommending any entity, investment plan or arrangement to any taxpayer.