Five Tips for Obtaining Life Insurance from Your Ex After Divorce

Separation agreements, or Final Orders in divorce and child support actions, commonly require spouses paying child support or alimony to maintain life insurance on themselves. Why? Because this provision ensures that such payments will continue after death.

Typically, a life insurance provision will require the paying spouse to maintain life insurance in an amount that covers his or her remaining financial obligations. A separation agreement may contain a provision similar to this one:

Defendant will obtain a collateral life insurance policy within thirty (30) days after the Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce is entered and will name Plaintiff as beneficiary to the extent of Defendant’s child support and/or alimony obligations as defined in this Agreement.

Notably, compliance with this provision occurs after the divorce is finalized. Therefore, it is critical you ensure your ex-spouse continues to comply with the provision by maintaining life insurance. Below are five tips for life insurance after divorce.

  1. Be Sure You are the Beneficiary. If your ex-spouse is court ordered to pay alimony and/or child support, read the separation agreement carefully to ensure he/she is required to name you as the life insurance policy’s beneficiary. This will guarantee your support in the event your ex dies. It is not enough simply to require your ex to maintain life insurance.
  2. Include a “Required Proof” Provision with a Specific Date for Compliance. There should be specific language in the agreement that requires your ex to provide annual proof that his or her policy is still in effect and is unencumbered by any debt. This will ensure that the premiums have been paid, the policy has not been canceled, and that you are still protected.
  3. Get a Release from your Ex to Contact the Insurance Company Directly. To avoid policy cancelation due to unpaid premiums, you can ask your attorney to draft a release form for your ex to sign. This will grant the insurance company permission to give you information about the policy, including if the premiums have been paid. This form should be attached to the Agreement as an exhibit, so there is no question as to whether the insurance company has permission from your ex to provide his/her insurance information.
  4. Obtain a First Charge against Ex’s Estate. If you are worried that your ex will fail to maintain life insurance, you can include a condition in your separation agreement where the unpaid premiums and financial obligations will be a first charge against your ex’s estate if he or she fails to maintain life insurance.
  5. Email Your Ex a Pre-Written Letter. Communicating with your ex can be emotional and uncomfortable. However, if you have a pre-written letter that requests proof of life insurance (as required by your agreement) you can simply forward the message in a quick, stress-free manner. You should send the email with a certified receipt to ensure that your ex received it.

The above tips are important. Not only do they ensure your ex complies with the life insurance provision in your Settlement Agreement or Final Order, but they also offer you peace of mind in your post-divorce life.

Do you have legal questions? We’re here to help your family. Call us at 770-333-1620.

Reference: procominsurancecompany.com – Pinecrest.

Five Reasons Not to Delay Filing for Divorce this Summer

     Recent studies show “divorces follow the seasons.” This phenomenon represents itself in a “twins peak” pattern, where divorce filings explode in March and August. That is, most divorces are initiated soon after the winter holidays and summer vacation.

     While the reasons behind this pattern may vary, there are some common explanations. For example, the winter holidays and summer vacations are special times of the year. They represent new beginnings and a fresh start. Unfortunately, however, the burdening stress arising from a broken relationship proves too heavy, and the idyllic, conjured images of a happy family life quickly fade.

     The decision to find a family lawyer to file for divorce is never easy—and it shouldn’t be. However, if you have come to terms with your decision, and know that divorce is best for you and your children, delaying the filing process may only make things more painful. Below are five reasons you should not “follow the seasons”, and why you should think about filing for divorce this summer:

  1. Lawyers may have more time. Generally, divorce lawyers are less busy in the summer months, which means more attention and faster results for you.
  2. StressFree Holiday Season. By filing for divorce in the summer, there is a good possibility that your divorce will be finalized before the holiday season.
  3. “Test Driving” Parenting Plans. The summer is a great time to experiment with visitation schedules to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. Your children are on summer break, and that means both you and the children have time to adjust to your new lifestyles before the hectic school year begins. This will facilitate a smooth transition into the fall months.
  4. Complete the Divorcing Parents Seminar Early. The summer is a good time to take the Divorcing Parents Seminar, which is required in most jurisdictions. Generally, Divorcing Parents Seminars are about four hours.  You can complete the seminar and receive your certificate, even if you have not yet filed for divorce. Finishing this course early in the process not only prepares you psychologically, but also eases the divorce process.   
  5. Your workload is usually lighter. You, personally, may have more time to adjust and cope with your divorce and minimize the stress on your career. You will also most likely have more time to spend communicating with your attorney, which will lead to a better result.

Do you have legal questions? We’re here to help your family. Call us at 770-333-1620.