Young v. Air Masters Mechanical Inc. (Mississippi 2019)

No. 2018-WC-00401-COA (Miss. Ct. App. 2019)
April 2019

A child support lien is valid even if the children have been subsequently adopted. The father and mother were married and had two children. They divorced, and the father was ordered to pay support. The mother remarried, and her new husband adopted the children. As part of the adoption, the father terminated his parental rights, and his current support obligation stopped. However, he owed arrears. The father later died in a workplace accident. The mother provided the Workers’ Compensation Commission with proper notice of the unpaid support. After a hearing, the full Commission found that the lien was not valid due to the adoption. The mother appealed. The court of appeals found the Commission had no authority to invalidate the lien. The support accrued before the children’s adoption, and the mother had the right to enforce it. It reversed the decision and remanded for a determination regarding a child support lien as a benefit payable under the death benefits statute.