Appendix 12.B – Custodial Parent Deceased Procedures
When the custodial parent is deceased, a question exists of what should be done with current child support and child support arrears owed to the custodial parent. When the child(ren) are adults, there is a difference of opinion as to whether the custodial parents arrears are owed to the custodial parent’s estate or the adult child on whose behalf the support was owed.
TThe following procedures shall be used by the case worker when making a determination for an appropriate case action after discovering a custodial parent in a child support case is deceased:
1. When notice is received that a custodial parent is deceased, the District CSE Office case worker shall verify the date of death and make sure documentation is included in the case file and the date of death entered on POSSE on Person Maintenance, “Other” popup screen. Current child support shall terminate effective the last day of the previous month that the custodial parent was deceased. If there are no assigned arrears existing on the case, the case shall be closed under 45 CFR 303.11(b) (1)—no current support obligation and arrearages are under $500.00 or unenforceable. A detailed log note shall be entered on the POSSE case activity log maintenance screen. The case worker shall generate the closure letter and place a copy in the case file. It is not necessary to mail the closure letter to the custodial parent because the custodial parent is deceased;
2. If there are arrears owed to the custodial parent and the State of Wyoming, the case worker shall follow the procedures described for “Discontinuing Enforcement of a Current Support Obligation and/or Non-assigned Arrears when Assigned Arrears Exist” dated May 6, 2005;
3. The Wyoming CSE Program shall not collect arrears owed to the custodial parent unless presented with a court order stating to whom the arrearage should be paid. The person presenting the court order shall apply for IV-D services before the Wyoming CSE Program shall attempt to collect on the arrearage. The Wyoming CSE Program shall not be involved in obtaining such an order. Arrears owed to the State of Wyoming or Assigned Arrears shall continue to be collected if assigned arrears exist;
4. If the noncustodial parent obtains custody of the child(ren), arrears owed to the custodial parent shall be addressed as stated in #2 above;
5. Assigned arrears shall be collected as allowed by law. If the noncustodial parent who owes the arrears is the one with custody of the minor children, collection may be at a lesser amount;
6. Any future caretaker with legal custody of the minor children of the deceased custodial parent shall apply for IV-D services if the caretaker wants the Wyoming CSE Program to establish and enforce a child support order. If a child support order exists giving the caretaker legal custody of the children, the caretaker shall apply for IV-D services if the caretaker wants the Wyoming CSE Program to enforce the existing order and shall provide a copy of the order to the District CSE Office.
7. If a child support payment is received after the date of the custodial parent’s death and there are no assigned arrears to the State, and no order regarding distribution of nonassigned arrears has been entered, the payment shall be refunded to the noncustodial parent.