Child Support Payments and Trust Proceeds

The appellate court in Pratt v. Ferguson determined that the proceeds from the maternal grandparents’ trust could be used for the purposes of child support.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND OF THE ARREARS CHILD SUPPORT PROCEEDINGS

The parties had six children together. The mother owed more than $93,000 in back child support. In legal terms, she was more than $93,000 in arrears. She was the beneficiary of a trust which would eventually distribute more than $200,000 to her.

ARREARS CHILD SUPPORT PROCEEDINGS

The father filed a petition in Orange County to order the trustee to pay the back child support from the mother’s share of the trust. The trustee opposed the petition relying on two clauses from the trust: the spendthrift clause and the shutdown clause. A spendthrift clause prohibits creditors from accessing the funds from the trust, and the shutdown clause actually stopped distribution to a beneficiary if the proceeds were subject to creditor’s claims. The trial court denied the father’s petition. The father appealed the order.

APPEAL OF THE DENIAL OF THE PETITION FOR CHILD SUPPORT ARREARS

The appellate court reversed the decision holding that California Probate Code Section 15305 requires the trustee to pay any support judgments without relying on any trust provisions which prohibited payment. In addition, public policy favors the payment of child support. The trial court was ordered to determine what distributions and payments should be made for the purposes of child support.

DO YOU NEED HELP WITH ISSUES RELATED TO CHILD SUPPORT?

If you need legal advice and are looking for a family law lawyer in Orange County to address a dissolution issue such as child support or any other divorce matter such as legal separation, annulment, custody, spousal support and/or property division, please consider our law office in your divorce attorney search. We are located in Laguna Hills right off Lake Forest exit to both the 405 and 5 freeway.

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Treviño Law, Inc.
23151 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Hills, California
Phone (949) 716-2102
Visit us at
www.LawintheOC.com
Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for a divorce in Orange County, it does not guarantee that there are other facts which may play a significant part in a dissolution. Circumstances in a divorce case may alter the required action and analysis taken by a family law attorney in California.

Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship. This is a legal advertisement for Treviño Law, Inc.
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