Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Can I ask you a few questions?
Did you acknowledge paternity by signing the birth certificate or were you married to the mother around the time the child was born or is this a case where the child came forward several years later and claimed that you were the father (or the mother came forward and claimed paternity/child support against you)?
How old was the child when the original claim was made for paternity and support?
You have mis-interpreted my question. It is my son who owes back child support arrears to the state of California. There is no question on paternity here. The child is now 30 years old, and this is a long standing court case.
I am not asking you for a way for my son to disown his grandaughter-she also will be a beneficiary of my estate. What i a;m asking i how to keep ;my estate funds intended for my son from being taken by the state of California.
When I indicated his grandaughter, I ment my grandaughter.
Hello again James --
I apologize for the misinterpretation on several matters. You see, I see cases all day that are just like the cases that I asked about -- either trying to prove or disprove paternity for monetary reasons. So when the issue of paternity and the age of the hild were not mentioned I did have to ask you those questions. I want to give you your answers based upon the right set of facts and circumstances, and so I do have a few more questions if you can bear with me ,,,,
- Did the mother or child receive any state welfare or medical benefits or food stamps while the child was a minor during any periods where child support was not paid? Or is the state of CA involved because they are pursuing the claim on behalf of the mother alone? (there are two types of child support arrears cases - the first is when the custodial parent seeks the state assistance to get payments but does not accept any state or federal benefits. The second is when the mother received the state and federal benefits and the state then pursues the noncustodial parent for reimbursement of those welfare and medical payments made to the mother -- the type of case your son is dealing with will sometimes dictate how aggressive the state will be in pursuing these monies)
Once you answer that please bear with me for about another half hour or so because I want to review the most recent law in this area in CA - these laws are changing monthly and I want to give you the most recent accurate law on this matter that i can. I also type slowly !!
I am sure they did receive welfare for part of the time, and maybe also medical expenses and food stamps.
One further explaination, the estate I plan to leave my son are from brokerage and IRA accounts, and not any real estate.
Hello James --
In Ca, the ex spouse or the state can take the amount of arrears and petition the family court to turn the amount into a judgment. Then the CA court can issue an execution and levy on any bank accounts that your son has in order to take the full amount of the arrears right from the inheritance amount that would be forwarded to him by the administrator of your estate. If you handle this the traditional way (leaving the money to him in a will) if the state has information that he will be getting his inheritance soon they will be waiting in the wings like vultures to levy the bank account as soon as the money is delivered there and there really is nothing that you can do to get around this process. If there is some way that he can negotiate a smaller amount as a settlement before you pass away then that would take care of all of these matters and probably for an amount that is much less than what they will take if the inheritance is actually paid and sitting in his account waiting for the CA child support agency to levy on the account and simply take it away from him when it is paid out to him. If you can perhaps give him some of his inheritance earlier so that he could approach the department about settling the matter for less than what is actually claimed to be owed - the agency is generally agreeable to the settling of matters ( no one needs to know that there is an inheritance coming at some point in the future). The child support department has a Compromise of Arrearage program where offers and compromises can be handled officially. Here is a link to their website -- you can cscroll through to find the Compromise arrearage pages - http://www.childsup.ca.gov/Default.aspx
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