Divorce and Life Insurance Policies
Many married couples purchase life insurance policies to protect themselves and their children in the face of an untimely passing. Having a life insurance policy can give people some assurances by providing for the family’s financial interests should a disaster occur.
Whenever there is a major change in a family’s circumstances, the life insurance policy may need to be revised or a new one initiated. During divorce proceedings, it is possible for one spouse to be ordered to buy life insurance with the children named as beneficiaries.
Types of Life Insurance
There are many types of policies designed to meet specific needs. Basic term life insurance costs less and gives a death benefit to beneficiaries. Whole-life policies cost more, and these extra monies contribute to a cash value. A percentage of the premium payments are also used for insurance company fees and the death benefit. Other policies include universal life, variable life, and final expense insurance.
Because life insurance policies often name the spouse as the primary beneficiary, many divorcing policy owners change this to their children. Doing this should not be complicated, since the majority of these policies are revocable. This means that the policy owner can change the beneficiary at any time.
In some cases, policies are written with an irrevocable beneficiary. This happens when a person is ordered by a judge to make their ex-spouse the designated beneficiary. This is seen most often in cases where there are dependent children, child support, or alimony involved. The court does have the ability to amend this later if the death benefit is excessively high or if the children are no longer dependents.
Alimony and Child Support Concerns
A custodial parent depends on alimony and child support payments to take care of their children. For this reason, many parents request life insurance policies to ensure their best interests are protected. It is not unheard of for a custodial parent to purchase a life insurance policy on their ex and to pay the premiums. When the non-custodial parent is not meeting their responsibilities, they may stop paying the premiums. This would cause the coverage to stop.
Custodial parents may also take out life insurance policies on themselves so their children will be protected in the event of that parent’s passing. A good way to calculate the amount of insurance needed is to see how many years are left until the youngest child turns age 21. This number should be multiplied by the parent’s early income.
Bucks County Divorce Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Advise Clients on Updating Their Life Insurance Policy
For help with your divorce proceedings, contact a knowledgeable Bucks County divorce lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Call 888-999-1962 today to arrange a free consultation or complete an online contact form. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, allowing us to represent clients throughout Pennsylvania.