Monday, February 21, 2005

Nebraska - Child Support From Dead Man?

Excerpts below, full article at TheOmahaChannel

Child Support From Dead Man?
State Tries To Collect Child Support From Dead Man's Wife

OMAHA, Neb. -- The state of Nebraska is trying to collect child support from a dead man.

This is not child support he owed when he was still alive, but instead, the debt accumulated after he died

Up until his death, Debra said Don never missed a child support payment.

But the letters kept coming and the debt was growing. Harriman sent letters back with her husband's death certificate attached, thinking that he surely couldn't be responsible for a debt incurred after his death.

"I thought everything was taken care of. Then early December, I got a letter saying they were going to take the tax refund," Harriman said.

The government had intercepted $1,867 of her tax refund to pay her husband's child support. Harriman protested some more, but got nowhere.

Much to Harriman's surprise, that is the law. Nebraska statute 43-513.01 states: "A judgment for child support shall not abate upon the death of the judgment debtor." In other words, a dead man can still owe child support.

The court could terminate the divorce decree, and make it retroactive to the time of Don Harriman's death, if the ex-wife agrees. Then his child support obligation would end the day he died.

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