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Life Insurance in Divorce


An untimely death after a divorce can leave the surviving spouse in a dire financial situation. For this reason, the judge may sometimes order one or both spouses to maintain a certain amount of life insurance to protect the other in the event that tragedy should strike. In this way, the other person would be financially protected in the even they are forced to take over responsibilities, such as child custody.

Is This Order Permanent?

Life insurance requirements are largely dependent on the type of alimony or child support awards that are given as part of a marriage agreement. If you are obligated to pay for a shorter amount of time (a few years, maybe) then you mostly likely only be required to simply purchase some form of a “term” life insurance product. For longer obligations, permanent insurance may be a better option.

Likewise, if the reason why this purchase is required is to ensure the well-being of children, then you could be required to purchase it until they are legally emancipated. For example, if you are paying child support for two children, you may be required to purchase $250,000 worth of insurance, which reduces in half when the first child is emancipated. If this is the case then you will be freed from your obligation when the second one joins them.

Deciding on a Policy

The law does not indicate a mandatory price or quality of coverage standards, so the spouse who is required to purchase the life insurance policy is welcome to choose the least expensive one they can find that fits their legal coverage obligations. This is not ideal for beneficiaries, as the companies with the lowest premiums are often somewhat disreputable financially, and they may struggle to receive a payout in the event of financial need.

In some instances, it is advisable to appoint a neutral consultant to help choose the policy with the best strength in financial backing without being too expensive for the spouse who must purchase it.

Seek Legal Assistance

Because this topic is so complex and can vary widely depending on your own family situation, it is important to seek out advice and legal representation from a skilled Rhode Island divorce attorney.

At McIntyre Tate, LLP, we have been named among the nation’s leading lawyers by numerous outlets, including Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers from U.S. News & World Report®, and The Best Lawyers in America®. With over 150 years of combined experience, you can trust that we have the tools and knowledge you need to seek the best possible result for your divorce.

Call McIntyre Tate, LLP today at (401) 351-7700 and schedule your initial consultation.

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