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How to Handle Unpaid Child Support When the Responsible Person Dies

If the former spouse dies, and that person is responsible for child support, whether arrearages, or current, or future child support payments, there can be recovery against the deceased person’s estate.

For that reason, if possible, there should be adequate life insurance in place so that in the event of the death of the responsible former spouse regarding child support obligations, said child support obligations, whether child support arrearages, or current, or future, can be recovered from the estate if insurance proceeds are payable to the estate. Another strategy could be to identify a beneficiary such that insurance proceeds would be payable directly to the beneficiary.


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In Illinois, alimony is awarded without regard to marital misconduct. According to Illinois divorce law, the judge orders support from one spouse to the other if the parties cannot agree. The court awards alimony in a lump sum or for a fixed or indefinite period of time. The alimony may be paid from the income or property of the other spouse after considering all relevant factors, including the income and assets of each spouse, the needs of each party, the earning capacity of each party, any impairment of the earning capacity of the party seeking alimony caused by marital sacrifices, the time necessary for the receiving party to seek employment, the standard of living established while married, the length of the marriage, the age and health of both parties, and the contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education or career potential of the other spouse.
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