Super Lawyers
Dallas 500
Best D 2022
Best Law Firms 2021
500 Leading Family Lawyers
Best of the Best Attorneys
Board Certified
International Advisory Experts
Best Lawyers under 40
Dynamic Women in Dallas
Expertise.com Best Family Lawyers in Dallas 2022
top attorneys Forth Worth Magazine
Leaders in Law
Power Players
NAFLA
National Diversity Council
Adam Mundt Certified Public
Super Lawyers badge
Top 50 Attorneys in Texas
Top 100 Attorneys in Texas
Top 50 Women Attorneys in Texas
Best D 2022 - 22 Years
Top 10 Blog Posts
Women Leaders in Law
Top 10 Dallas
Best of the Best Attorneys
Collaborative Divorce Texas
Certified
Family Law Top 10
Top Rated Women
Best Lawyers 2022

Support Obligations and Death

Dallas Family-Law Attorneys Representing People in Support Matters

Many spouses earn vastly different incomes, and, if a couple with disparate assets decides to divorce, the court may order the higher-earning spouse to pay spousal maintenance. Similarly, co-parents often have diverse means, and it is not uncommon for the courts to impose child-support obligations on one parent. Typically, support and maintenance orders dictate the duration of the responsibility to make payments, but the death of a party bound by an order could potentially impact the obligation prior to the court-ordered expiration. If you have concerns about how a recent death could affect your rights or obligations in a family-law case, it is advisable to contact an attorney promptly. The knowledgeable Dallas family-law attorneys of McClure Law Group are dedicated to helping people take the measures necessary to protect their interests, and, if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf.

Child-Support Obligations and Death Under Texas Law

The Texas Family Code (the “Code”) expressly dictates that child-support obligations continue after the obligor's death. Specifically, the Code provides that if a party required to pay child support passes away before the support obligation ends, the outstanding unpaid balance of the obligation becomes payable on the date of their death. The court that has jurisdiction over the case will determine the amount of support owed to each child of the deceased obligor, weighing all relevant factors, including the current value of the total amount of monthly child-support payments that would be due between the time of death and the child’s 18th birthday, the value of any health-insurance premiums payable for the child’s benefit during that time, and the type and amount of any benefits the child would be owed as a result of the obligor’s death. If, after evaluating any pertinent factors, the court finds the child-support obligation has been satisfied, it will terminate the obligation; if it determines, however, that the obligation has not been met, it will issue a judgment in favor of the obligee in the amount of the unpaid child-support obligation. The obligee must then pursue a claim against the obligor’s estate for the outstanding child support.

Similarly, the Code states that child-support duties do not end with the death of the obligee or parent receiving the support but continue as an obligation to the child named in the support order. The support will be paid to the child’s guardian, the person appointed managing conservator of the child or who has assumed actual care and possession of the child, the county clerk in the child’s name, or the child. Notably, if the child named in a support order passes away, the support obligation terminates immediately.

Texas Law Regarding Spousal Maintenance and Death

Unlike child support obligations, spousal maintenance will not survive a party’s death. In other words, if either the party paying or the party receiving support passes away, any court-ordered duty to pay maintenance will end. In cases in which the parties entered into a contractual agreement regarding post-divorce spousal support, however, the Texas courts have ruled that the terms of the agreement will dictate whether the support obligation continues after the death of one of the parties. As such, death does not automatically terminate a support obligation.

Contact a Capable Dallas Attorney

The death of a co-parent or former spouse can impact a person’s rights with regard to child support and spousal maintenance, and it is smart for anyone contending with the passing of a person subject to a family-law order to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The capable Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group can evaluate the facts of your case and advise you of your options for seeking a favorable outcome. Our primary office is in Dallas, and we frequently meet clients for conferences at our Collin-County office in Plano. We represent parties in family-law matters in Dallas, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Richardson, Frisco, Irving, McKinney, and Garland. We also represent people in divorce and child support actions in cities in Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, Collin, Tarrant, and Grayson Counties. You can contact us through our online form or by calling 214.692.8200 to set up a confidential meeting.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"McClure Law Group was very professional and responsive. They listened to my concerns and desires as it pertains to the service requested and I'm very pleased." Jade Nguyen
★★★★★
"Kelly and her team are always a pleasure to work with, and their work product always exceeds one’s expectations." George Tamke
★★★★★
"When I most needed professional, good quality responses McClure Law Group was there. Thank you for the service that I have received from everyone!" Norma Charles
★★★★★
"McClure Law Group’s team is very responsive! I have very much appreciated their communication. They are always on top of what is happening and return my calls or emails quickly." Brie Cherry
★★★★★
"Kelly McClure has been representing me for the past several years and has been an amazing advocate, confidant and sounding board. She is always available by phone, even when she is on vacation. She has answered my questions on weekends and always given me an honest opinion. I highly recommend this group to anyone." Heather Bell
★★★★★
"The McClure Law Group helped me through a very difficult divorce and they definitely had my back every step of the way. I couldn’t recommend the team enough!" Shell A.
★★★★★
"I could not be happier to have had McClure Law. I truly appreciate their accessibility and patience. I can tell they are very knowledgeable, and I trust their guidance. I am SO thankful I went with great lawyers to handle my family case." Victor Lollar
★★★★★
"Kelly is detailed oriented and she truly cares about her clients. Her knowledge of the laws and her ability to get a case resolved make her stand far above others. I highly recommend McClure for your family law needs!" Peter Morgan