Life Insurance & Child Support Arrears

by Carol from Kissimmee, Florida, Osceola County


Ex-husband is in arrears of about $40,000 (court ordered child support for three children which hasn't been paid in years).


He will get life insurance benefits of possibly $10,000 when his mother passes (she lives in Georgia).

Will the state (which I have a case with) automatically take that money? I know they will take tax returns, etc, but I don't know how life insurance works.

I'm sure he doesn't have a bank account because of his history, so I know they won't be able to garnish monies possibly deposited from the life insurance benefit from there.

He's been in prison a couple of times on drug charges, lost his license from non-payment of support, spent a few months in jail for non-payment, and is currently on probation for more drug charges.

He purposely takes jobs under the table to avoid paying, and will do anything possible to not pay, so I know he won't be a real man and decide to pay down his child support if he does receive the money.

I just want to know if the state will take that money before he can get it to spend on more drugs or is there something I need to do to get that money taken.

Answer to Florida Child Support Question

Dear Carol,

I suggest you contact an attorney. Timing is everything. If your ex was to die owing back child support you could come forward as an interested person and make a claim on his probate estate. However, it is your ex's mother who is dying and life insurance does not go through probate. Life insurance goes directly to the heir(s).

However, he is going to receive his inheritance in the form of a check, most likely a cashier's check.

It is unlikely that he can walk into a bank and cash a $10,000 check, he will have to deposit it.

Nowadays it is also impossible or near impossible to sign a check over to someone else and deposit it in another person's account.

So, my theory and suggestion is to place a lien or attachment on his inheritance the second it hits the bank.

If you already have a judgment against him for child support arrears, all the better. I don't believe that the state will automatically capture an inheritance.

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