my stepdaughter's father passed. Does his estate have to pay the court ordered back child support?

We live in the state of ILLINOIS. He owes my wife and stepdaughter approx 15,000 in back child support that was court ordered. He has passed on. Does his estate have to pay the court ordered back child support.


The daughter is still a minor. We were putting the money from the back child support in a trust fund for her. There is money. The back child support is because he fought it, for 2 years. We are looking out for the daughter. His family is being real jerks about the situation and not wanting to let her have anything.

Update 2:

we are not worried about the money that some people think. He took his life on sept 23rd. His family will not let his girls in the house to see if there is anything that they would like to keep for memories of their Father. It is not money we want. We are trying to look out for the daughters.

11 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    I would agree with others that it is a bit harsh and (pardon my use of the word) heartless to be thinking of money when the man just passed away...

    On the direct issue... Yes, an "estate" is based on the person's wealth, and anything left in someone's estate is meant to:

    1. Allow for the cost of final arrangements and memorial servies.

    2. Pay off all outstanding debt the deceased owes (this includes child support arrears).

    3. Be passed onto surviving kin per a Will or by law if no will is present. By law then next of kin (in the event of no Will) would be spouse, child, parents, etc...

    The CHILD deserves all back child support and should also receive Social Security death benefits until the age of emancipation due to her father's untimely death.

    Have her mother contact the estate lawyer, but please wait a little bit. Have a little respect for the family of the deceased... They just lost a member of their family and feel threatened and violated by the prospect of "vultures" coming in for the estate already. The estate lawyer will need to review all outstanding debt and pay those out before following through with the deceased's Will.

    For those that believe that an estate isn't meant to pay off debt... WORNG... An estate is the liquidation of assests in which belonged to them. Their debts are accrued during their life that still need to be repaid. The point of an estate is to net out all assets with the debts before relinquishing the total net worth to the beneficiaries...

  • Well I know when a parent dies or gets prison for life is Social Security basically becomes child support payments and the child gets a social security check..So maybe if for some reason you cant legally get it from the estate..then his social security will pay current and also pay out over time some of the back owed each month..This happened to a friend of mine..but the only thing he didn't have any estate to give out either

  • 1 decade ago

    This is one area of child support I am not familiar with- however I am familiar with *some* estate is my understanding that any outstanding (legal) debts must be paid before any funds are dispersed to family members etc. I also know that you have to sometimes file this with the estate....if he had someone set up to manage these affairs then you need to speak with this person. If it is an outside source such as an estate lawyer/bank etc, then you should be fine as they have to obey the confines of the law. This should be the same with an estate manager who is a family member...but many times inappropriate and inexperienced people are appointed to such positions and will not bother with things they don't want to, such as you...even if they are obligated to by law. I would have your wife speak with the designated estate manager, or power of attorney of the estate and have her gage the situation. If she feels they are going to gyp her, I would most certainly seek the advice of an estate/probate attorney- the consultations are generally free or a small fee. Then you should know where to go from there.

    Definitely pursue it, this IS something that should be paid from the estate. Also speak with the authority who was pursuing the support...especially if it was the Office of the Attorney General, as a government agency they would be able to help you a great deal, as well as free of charge, for recovering those funds.

    And to those who say let them grieve- yes of course a family needs to grieve. But business must also continue. There would be no funeral, flowers or burial if everyone just sat around crying...things have to get done and unfortunately this is one of them. They wouldn't have to be "bothered" with it if he had done his fatherly duty in the first place.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes. But the Family Court has to be aware this is going on to be able to attach the money from the estate. It should be given priority as much as any other liability the estate has against it. The jerky family has no right in fighting this and should be held at bay while the court files for and proceeds on this.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It may, check with his estate attorney or consult a probate attorney for answers. But if he owes 15 K, I doubt that he even has it....if there's property it may go to the daughter and perhaps the court will order her to liquidate to pay off the debt.

  • 1 decade ago

    If he does owe it, the state will probably take it out of the estate IF there is anything to take.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Depends on Illinois law, but my gut would say yes.

    Props to Quaker O. Yes, that's what the US is all about, and is becoming ONLY about. Who said it's about Love? Ha!

  • Poppy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I would think not. The judgment was against him. Not his estate. The only way to know for sure is to contact an attorney.

  • 1 decade ago people are really greedy when it comes to child support. The man just died damn, let his daughter and his family grieve. What a jerk. Let her MOTHER handle this. She will need to get a lawyer and she might or might not. This is so sad, a man passed and all you are thinking about is money.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You might talk to a Lawyer who deals with probate litigation (not simply family law).

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