Question:  I am separated from my spouse and I have child support obligations.  What happens if I die while my kids still need financial support?

Answer:  Child support is based on, and paid from your income.  If you die, then of course your income will end, and so will the ability to pay child support.  Your former spouse could make a claim against your estate, typically by way of a dependant’s relief claim for continued support for the kids.  However, it is conceivable that there will not be much or enough in your estate on death.  This is especially true if you have designated a beneficiary on specific assets (e.g. RRSP’s) or you have a joint holder of your assets (e.g. house, bank account), such that the asset passes to the beneficiary or surviving joint holder.  Therefore, it is wise, even a requirement, to have life insurance insuring your life to secure the anticipated ongoing child support obligation. 

Usually, you name the surviving parent who will continue to provide for the children as the irrevocable beneficiary, sometimes in trust for the children. 

Speaking with Doug Lounsbury, Lounsbury Life & Group Insurance Services, here in Georgetown, this something he deals with quite regularly, helping support payors to ensure he or she has appropriate insurance in place to protect their children’s interests.  

We are a full service firm that does a lot of family law.  We are happy to meet you for a free consultation about your matter at one of our three offices, including 8 Guelph Street, Georgetown. Have a happy and safe holiday. See you in the new year.