Do I Have To Continue Paying Child Maintenance For My Partner's Children After They Die?
Posted on 9th March 2020
It was with some morbid curiosity that this family law solicitor in Garstang, Preston, was reading about Chris Cornell’s widow and his ex-wife’s claim against her. Chris Cornell was the Soundgarden frontman until he died in 2017. Chris Cornell was married to Vicky Cornell from 2004 to 2017 and previous to that he was married to his ex-wife Susan Silver from 1990 to 2004. Whilst married to Susan Silver, the couple had one child whom Mr Cornwell has paid child support for since.
Following the death of Chris Cornell, reports state that Susan Silver has made claims over the child support agreement. A statement from Vicky Cornwell’s Solicitor stated “Vicky Cornell, the Personal Representative of the Christopher Cornell Estate, appointed by her late husband under his Will, has filed a Motion to Dismiss the inappropriate and frivolous claim filed by Susan Silver. Vicky has paid every penny of child support including all high school and college tuition, educational expenses, and health insurance.”
What would happen if such a claim were brought in the UK?
If there are children involved within the context of separation or divorce, the Children Law Specialist advising you, should recommend that both parents take out life insurance. Local Solicitors practising in family law, who are seeking to protect your interests should also seek to protect the financial support of children in every situation: sadly this has to include the potential death of a parent who pays child support. Ideally, when negotiating a financial order, there should be provisions in place to cover financial support for children until the children leave full time education.
Following the death of a supporting parent any support payments are lost unless there were specific arrangements made within the financial order to cover the requirement for continued payment. It is worth mentioning that if the supporting parent is behind in child support payments then their estate will be required to pay the past amounts owing.
In most circumstances the parent providing support payments will be recommended to set up a trust for the children so that they can be assured that the support will continue after their death. If you wish to set up such a trust then your Wills and Probate Solicitor will explain that the proceeds of your trust will have to be managed by a trustee and that trustee will be responsible for disbursing the proceeds of your trust in order to support any children.
So, remember; if you truly want what is best for your children, ensure that they are protected by the following:
- Financial Order
- Life Insurance
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