If you are involved in a youngster assist dispute – or if you expect to be involved in a child support dispute – during or after a divorce in California, obtain legal help at once by promptly contacting an experienced Orange County family law attorney. Every parent is obligated by law to support their children. When child support is ordered after a divorce, the order is merely a recognition of every parent’s responsibility. The child support order is not a penalty or a punishment. In California, a parent is legally obligated to provide support until a child turns 18 years old. What you may not know is that if a parent passes away before a child turns 18, the support obligation may not end with death.

California’s Fifth District Court of Appeals recently dealt with this issue in a case where the child’s parents never married. The parents fought in court for several years regarding the child assist  matter. When the mother passed away and the father took legal action against a trust established to hold the mother’s assets, the court initially denied the request. The Fifth District Court reversed that decision, citing a 1949 ruling by the California Supreme Court in Taylor v. George. The Fifth District Court’s ruling said, in part:

“It is well established that a child support obligation survives the death of the supporting parent and is a charge against his or her estate. In addition to being a charge against a supporting parent’s estate, court-ordered child support becomes a charge against that parent’s living trust, when his or her assets are in such trust rather than in an estate.”

That makes the law quite clear. If you are receiving youngster assist payments and the parent making those payments passes away, the responsibility for payments passes to the deceased parent’s trust or estate. If you are a parent on either side of a child support dispute in southern California, obtain the legal advice and help you need for your own case right now, and arrange immediately to speak with an Orange County family law attorney.

By: Bayati Brian

Brian A. Bayati has been named three times as a top Orange County divorce attorney by OC Metro Magazine. He graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he was a judicial extern to the U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Circuit) and a public service mediator. Prior to founding Bayati Law Group, he was part of a civil litigation firm with offices across the nation. Bayati Law Group focuses exclusively on the practice of family law.