Yesterday, I met with an estate settlement client in our Metairie office whose mother recently passed away, and he was set to receive a large inheritance from his mother’s estate. His greatest concern was the effect this Louisiana inheritance would have on his current child support payments.
On the surface, Louisiana child support laws seem to keep inheritance money out of the child support calculation because inheritance is not considered income to the heir. However, the law leaves some wiggle room for Louisiana judges, and courts have taken full advantage of this wiggle room to include inherited assets when determining child support payments.
The law says all income “regardless of source” can be used in child support determinations , and many judges have used this terminology to extend child support to inherited assets. In addition, judges are allowed to look at the big picture and look at the totality of circumstances when setting Louisiana child support. Almost always, inherited assets become a part of this big picture.
So the message courts are sending is clear, inheritance can increase your child support payments. Keep this in mind when you are an heir in the process of going through Louisiana probate for your loved ones. For more information on Louisiana Succession and Probate issues you may be encountering call (504) 274-1980 in the Metairie and New Orleans Area or call (985) 246-3020 in Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, Houma, Thibodaux, and surrounding areas.