By Bonnie A. Rabinovitch-Mantel, CFLS.
In San Diego, if you’re receiving alimony/spousal support, and your ex-spouse passes away you may be wondering if this may affect your support. The answer, in short, is that it depends on a number of factors.
Unless otherwise agreed upon in the initial drafting of a spousal support (alimony) agreement, a former spouse’s demise does negate an existing agreement. However, there is sometimes language within the original agreement that is ambiguous, which may leave the question of continued spousal support open for interpretation. That’s where a San Diego family law and divorce attorney’s expertise comes into play.
There is also another route by which you may continue to be awarded spousal support after your former spouse dies. During some spousal/child support agreement negotiations in San Diego County and throughout Southern California, the payor will make a provision in his or her life insurance policy to account for the loss of alimony or child support payments following his or her passing.
As to whether or not child support continues in San Diego if your former spouse dies, the general rule is that child support for minors does not cease unless otherwise stated in the spousal/child support agreement. So, even if your former spouse has passed away, child support can be drawn from his or her estate, and the agreed upon figured may actually be modified depending on any financial changes for either you or your deceased ex.
It’s important to keep in mind that filing a creditor’s claim against your ex-spouse’s estate must be handled in a timely manner in order for your claim to be valid. There are specific timeframes that are necessary to work within in order for any alimony or child support claims to be upheld. This is another instance in which an experienced San Diego divorce and child custody attorney comes particularly in handy.
When a former spouse passes away, the ensuing considerations--especially if there is no will--can become easily complicated by vying family members, bills, debts, and otherwise. The best course of action to ensure that you and your family’s future is protected, no matter what, is to enlist the help of a top San Diego family law and divorce attorney.