Can a divorced spouse file a wrongful death lawsuit for the children of the deceased?
A divorced spouse can file a lawsuit in Texas on behalf of their children. Children are entitled to financial compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Although a divorced spouse isn’t entitled to any money from a wrongful death lawsuit for the deceased, that divorced spouse can sue for them as “next friend” of the minor children.
A Divorced Spouse Can File a Lawsuit as Next Friend of the Children
Divorced spouses in wrongful death lawsuits stand as the “next friend” because the minor child cannot file a lawsuit. The divorced parent is not entitled to anything from the child’s legal claims.
How Does a Court Ensure Money Goes to the Child of a Divorced Parent in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A court will usually appoint an independent attorney called an “ad litem” to represent the best interests of the child in the event of a wrongful death settlement. That attorney will owe the minor duties of undivided loyalty, confidentiality, and competent representation.
When a minor’s injury claim is resolved, there is usually a hearing in front of a judge to assess whether the minor’s interests are protected. In Texas, the child will often receive the settlement money for an injury. In the event of a divorced spouse acting as next friend in a wrongful death case, the court will safeguard the child’s interests. The expense of the attorney who will represent the interests of the child during the hearing is often covered by the defendant.
Typically, there are two ways to settle a minor’s wrongful death claim with a divorced parent. The money from the settlement is either put in the court’s registry to be delivered to the minor when they are 18 years old, or it is used to purchase an insurance policy known as an annuity that can be paid out over time until the child reaches maturity.
The parents can have a significant impact on whether or not the money is deposited in the court’s register or used to purchase an annuity insurance policy. More flexible payment schedules are offered by annuities, which frequently do not pay out the entire amount until the child reaches 18.
Wrongful Death Lawyer with Experience Representing Children of Divorced Spouses
To help you understand your options, our wrongful death attorneys provide free, no-obligation consultations. We don’t collect anything unless your case is properly settled. Our firm is committed to helping families get through this difficult time and obtaining the money our clients require to pay for medical expenses, burial expenses, and any other related losses. Our wrongful death lawyer is board certified and has achieved superb results for his clients that total more than $100 million. Please call us at 1-800-883-9858 or contact us online if you suspect a family member’s death was caused by someone else’s misconduct.