We would like to think that a marriage will last forever but bleak statistics show that more than half of all married couples in the United States will end up divorcing.This painful end to a union brings a major life-change and thus, a period of personal and financial reassessment. Insurance protection is an important part of any financial plan and there are a number of insurance issues you must consider. Although it’s hard to think about life insurance when you are in the midst of reorganizing your life, it’s one of the important decisions you will have to make when it comes to the future welfare of your dependents.
How to Protect Your Term Life Insurance Policy… While Going Through a Divorce
You buy life insurance to protect your family from financial loss stemming from your death. You tie the amount of your life insurance to the money your family will need to provide an income, pay off debts, put children through college and cover financial commitments.
But what happens to life insurance when you’re about to dissolve your marriage? How do you deal fairly with a soon-to-be ex-spouse, yet still make sure you have coverage for the future? Is there a way to provide for adult children of a previous marriage — especially if you have children through a second or third marriage?
Things to consider:
Your life insurance agent or company won’t necessarily know about your circumstances. If you don’t change your beneficiary, your former spouse may receive the proceeds of your policy upon your death. If the designation simply reads, “husband of the insured” or “wife of the insured,” and there is no new spouse, the secondary beneficiary receives the proceeds.
You may be able to transfer ownership rights of the policy as part of a property settlement or to ensure continuation of alimony payments. Your ex-spouse may not ask for more support or a greater slice of an ongoing pension if he or she remains the designated life insurance beneficiary on a permanent life insurance policy.
Don’t overlook the possibilities life insurance may provide for dealing fairly with children from your previous marriage. If you’re paying alimony to your previous spouse and have a second family with your new spouse, adult children from your first marriage may sue your estate after you’re gone if they felt they were not dealt with as fairly as the children from your subsequent marriage(s).
Planning for a new life:
If you have suddenly become the primary support of your dependents you may want to consider buying (or increasing existing) life insurance policies to help protect their future economic stability.
You may also want to consider having your divorce settlement include additional life insurance coverage for your ex-spouse if you rely on him/her for child support or alimony.
Why is ownership of the insurance policy important?
Just as with any other property, you need to determine who will be the owner of your various insurance policies.
The owner controls the policy and has the right to name the beneficiaries. For instance, your spouse may be the current owner of a life insurance policy that has you named as the beneficiary. This means that your spouse could change the beneficiary at any time, contrary to what you might desire or need.
How much life insurance do I need to cover alimony or child support?
We have provided a Life Insurance Calculator to help you figure this out.
How can I find the lowest life insurance rates?
It is quick and easy to find the lowest term life rates available just by answering a few questions. Our comprehensive online database shops for the policy that best serves your needs from among the nation’s top life insurance companies. Start shopping now! Find your lowest term life insurance rates.
If you’re contemplating divorce, don’t forget the options you may have with respect to your life insurance coverage. Divorce is difficult and painful enough — don’t overlook the security and peace of mind this valuable asset can provide.