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Should my former spouse have life insurance?

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2020 | Divorce |

Completing a spousal and child support plan is a crucial part of many divorces. You may breathe a sigh of relief when you and your spouse have worked out such a plan in your divorce. Unfortunately, the future can be unpredictable, and events might keep your spouse from living up the agreement. You may have to go one step further and make sure your ex has life insurance.

Some spouses willfully break spousal support agreements. This can lead to acrimonious court battles to get the paying spouse to comply with the agreement. However, many divorced individuals do want to support their former spouse and children, but then tragedy might strike.

Unforeseen events that stop support

Your ex may be a young individual with a lot of earning years left. So it may seem that your former spouse can continue to support you for years to come. But then an unforeseen event like a car accident happens. Suddenly your ex is in the hospital. Your ex may die or suffer a disability that prevents your ex from going back to work. Other events like an illness or a violent crime could cause your former spouse to prematurely die.

Using life insurance to insure your spouse

As Forbes explains, one option to deal with the unexpected loss of support is to take out a life insurance policy on your former spouse. With a policy in place, you can continue to receive financial support from the policy if something happens to your ex. In some divorce cases, a paying spouse already owns a policy. If not, a court may require the paying spouse to purchase a life insurance policy.

Working out the policy details

Settling the matter of life insurance is something to take care of during the divorce settlement. For one thing, you want to be sure that an insurance company will insure your spouse. Some people are not insurable. If so, you and your spouse may need to work out an alternative way to provide for you in the event your ex cannot support you any longer, such as through a constructive trust.

There are also details to work out if you can insure your spouse. You will likely address matters like who will own the policy. You may also discuss the amount of the policy, who will make premium payments, the beneficiaries the policy will pay out to, and how much each beneficiary shall receive.