Legal Question in Family Law in Florida


My wife passed away from cancer in Oct 2007. Almost from the time my wife was diagnosed, her ex stopped paying child support for their 9 year old daughter knowing that we were not able to fight him for it at that time.

After my wife passed, initially I had no intention of going after him for all the back support he owed us. However, things have now deteriorated to the point that he will no longer allow myself or my daughter (his daughterís half-sister) to see my step daughter, so I'm interested in finding out if I can go after him for the back support he never paid while my wife was sick. I should point out that my wife had full custody of my step daughter, with her ex having his daughter every other weekend.

And a related question: After my wife passed, her ex would not allow my step daughter to continue to live with myself and her half-sister. Instead, he asked my wifeís brotherís family if they would keep her as he had no interest in raising her himself. Sheís been living with them since my wife passed, but he has never given them one dime in child support. They have asked him about support from time to time, but he always has some excuse as to why he has no money.

My question is can they go after him for back child support? In my opinion, the passing of a spouse would not relieve a father of child support responsibilities, but I donít know what the law is in regards to such situations.

Please help!

Asked on 9/24/12, 10:50 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Brent Rose The Orsini & Rose Law Firm

The personal representative (executor) of your wife's estate can go after him for the back support he owed your wife. Your wife's brother's family can sue him for current support. It's up to him whether your step-daughter has contact with your daughter.

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Answered on 9/24/12, 11:01 am

Lucreita Becude Lucreita D. Becude, P.A.

So sorry to hear this. The girls have a right to see one another. Have you spoken to the family that has her to see what they are willing to offer. The personal representative can do as Mr. Rose stated. If that is you, then yes. I suggest your brother's family apply for support from the state for her. The dept of Revenue will go after him for reimbursement funds.

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Answered on 9/27/12, 8:07 am

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