What Happens After the Loss of a Parent?

How to Help your Children Cope with the Death of a Parent

No matter the circumstances, having a parent pass away is an emotionally challenging time for the whole family. Even if a couple is separated or divorced, the challenges after a family member passes can be extremely painful. Children of divorced parents can have a particularly difficult time coping when one of them passes away.

Regardless of what your feelings toward your ex were, it’s important to be supportive of children who are experiencing extreme emotions after the death of their parent. In order to offer the best emotional support for your family, it’s important to know the logistics of what happens after a parent dies. We’ve compiled a list of the most important things to know to get you started.

Government-Provided Benefits for Children in Florida

The United States Social Security Administration provides survivor benefits to unmarried children under the age of 18 and disabled children who were diagnosed before the age of 22. These benefits are calculated based on what the deceased parent would have received in social security upon retirement.

The State of Florida takes special interest in children of divorced and single parents to ensure that their day-to-day life remains as stable as possible during a separation. When a parent has passed away the state has also created guidelines regarding child support and custody to prevent additional stress for children and their families.

How is Child Support Affected?

The death of a parent will automatically end the obligation to pay child support for the deceased parent. If that parent failed to make some or all of their child support payments before they passed away, any past-due child support will be the responsibility of the deceased’s estate. However, the estate is not responsible for any further payments if everything is up-to-date.

What Happens When the Custodial Parent Passes Away?

If the parent the child primarily resides with has passed away, placing the child with their living parent is the first choice. When the other parent is not available and there is a will in place clearly identifying a guardian, the State of Florida will do everything in its power to follow those wishes as closely as possible. If there is no will and the other parent is not eligible to care for the child, the State of Florida will try to identify other relatives or close family friends to act as the child’s guardian.

Whether the loss of a parent happened suddenly or was due to a long illness, it is still an emotionally charged time for children and their families. Knowing what to expect for your children can provide a sense of comfort and is one less thing to stress about.

Be Prepared for Anything

It’s in every family’s best interest to have a plan in place in case the unimaginable happens. If you live in Tampa and you need to hire an attorney to help you sort things out after the loss of a loved one, contact the family attorneys at LaFrance Law.