If the custodial parent receiving child support passes away and the non-custodial parent assumes custody, do the child support payments stop? What happens to the debt if the non-custodial parent owes arrears?
While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and cannot give you legal advice, I can give some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.
Where I practice in Pennsylvania, an action for child support may be brought on behalf of the child by, among other options, a person who has custody of the child or a person caring for the child regardless of whether that person has custody per a court order. See Pa.R.C.P. 1910.3(a).
Therefore, if such a person is no longer alive in order to receive such payments, the county’s Domestic Relations Office may need to be alerted to confirm the death of the payee.
If a support order includes spousal support in addition to child support, Pennsylvania law specifically states that such an order shall terminate upon the death of the spouse or ex-spouse who was receiving the payments. Pa.R.C.P. 1910.16-4(f)(3).
Due to the sensitive and extremely fact-specific nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction, such as Cordell & Cordell, to see how your state’s laws can specifically help you with this serious situation. This type of attorney should be helpful in providing you specific assistance for your matter.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in Ohio and how they particularly impact your potential case.