Does my mother have rights against my deceased father’s estate for back due alimony and child support?

My father, now deceased and divorced from my mother around 38 years ago and never paid court ordered alimony or child support. His Will provided for a trust with his assets between his children and his live-in girlfriend of 8 years, as equal partners. Does my mother have any rights to his estate because of unpaid alimony or do his children have any rights to his estate because of unpaid child support? His live-in girlfriend has a lein on the property preventing the sale of such.

Asked on June 12, 2012 under Family Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your father was under an order to pay for spousal and child support which he never did, then potentially his estate may be subject to a "surcharge" for such subject to significant statute of limitation issues as well as waiver defenses for collection for such non-payment.

I suggest that your mother consult with a family law attorney about the situation that you have written about to ascertain if she is not time barred from collecting on an obligation that has not been paid for many years. Most likely she will be barred from collecting upon it based upon the facts that you have written about.

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