On Disability and Unable to Pay Child Support and Property of Parents’ Who have Passed Away

Board Certified family attorney Sonya Coffman answers the questions of Southeast Texas KFDM News viewers. These questions include:

  • What can be done about a parent who is on disability and cannot pay child support?
  • What happens to parents’ property if both pass away without leaving wills for the children?


a Florida man an legally adopted his forty-two year old girlfriend as his daughter all in an attempt to shield his assets in a wrongful death civil suit it was a highly unusual move and has in many raising eyebrows could this same thing happen right here in Texas Live at Five’s family attorney Sonya Coffman joins us now with details weird story very interesting legal maneuver it could happen in Texas the Texas Family Code allows an adult to adopt another adult there is no case law directly on those facts but in the past generally that statute has been used to determine whether someone could inherit under a will if they were adopted by another adult so my thought is here that this is probably a sham and probably against public policy so I doubt if it will work good it’s just kinda the whole thing was just bizarre yes it was okay let's go to our KFDM News Facebook page we’ve got lots of questions uh this one wants to know if the child support order is issued and the parent that is ordered to pay child support becomes medically disabled and does not pay what can be done to the parent and which is four years behind on child support I would suggest to this lady that she contact the Attorney General's Office and they will help her on enforcement action for her child support if this person is disabled has not had the child support order modified then it has continued to accrue despite his disability so the A. G.’s office can help her collect that okay another question what happens to house and property if both pass away and there's no will I'll but they have three grown children they will need to institute some probate proceedings this person died intestate and they would open an administration and determine how these assets are passed to the children how long does that normally take is it a long process it depends on what the assets are in what has to be done to transfer title to get an accounting done but it's obviously more cumbersome then had there been a will okay nether question uh... what do I need to do if a court date is set for enforcement on past due child support due to the Attorney General's Office for my child you need to be there at the enforcement hearing and the attorney general will present the matter to the judge and see what the judge wants to do about that child support okay if you're going through divorce and you sign a waiver so you don't have to go to court in front of the judge but before the court date you change our mind can you still go to the court on the day to sign divorce papers yes you can go ahead and appear before the court what I would suggest is that person notify the court that they're withdrawing the waiver and let the court know that they do want to be heard I would suggest filing an answer are so that no default judgment could be taken ok another question why do men have to pay child support when the woman leaves them for another man and they don't want a divorce that really stinks doesn’t it and that happens but the law is regardless of the parties marital state they have to support their children so that's the reason okay I think we can squeeze in one more if you get a divorce and the parent doesn't want to pay child support can anything be done to the parent that isn't paying child support I’m not sure I follow that if you don't want the child support why would you want to do something to the parent that isn't paying did I understand that right yeah that is kind of a strange question okay if a man and a woman are married but separated and don’t get a divorce what will happen with the land, home cars etc. if one of them dies if they're still married it would be community property and it would pass under the laws and intestacy if there is no will so if you want to cut off the other spouses ability to inherit any of your property you need to get a divorce wooo thanks we appreciate it unfortunately we're out of time thank you for having me and if you'd like to have your question answered about family law along all you have to do is fax us your questions eight nine two seven three oh five email us at laf@kfdm.com or you can post those questions on our KFDM News Facebook page