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Divorce and Life Insurance

Every divorce, like the marriage that proceeds it, is unique unto itself. That being said, the obligation for the bread winner to continue to provide for their common dependents is never absolved. That’s why divorce settlements typically include provisions for child support and its common practice to include a stipulation that the supporting spouse, or in the event of joint custody both parents, should carry a life insurance policy. A clause which insists on a life insurance policy ensures that the children will still be provided for should a parent die. How long the policy is maintained depends on what the policy was intended for. If the life insurance policy was meant as security for child support, it could probably be terminated when the dependent children attain the age of 18. However, the policy could also be maintained for a longer period of time if the parents so choose.

Easy enough, but make sure that when negotiating your divorce settlement, it is important to designate who will be the owner of the life insurance policy. The policy owner (as opposed to the life insured or the beneficiary) controls the policy and has the right to add, change or remove beneficiaries without the life insured’s consent. One way to insure that the policy is maintained as stipulated in the divorce settlement is to name the custodial parent, or both parents, as the owner or (better still) joint owners of the policy.

As extra “insurance” (mind the pun) you can also include a provision in your divorce agreement stating that if a beneficiary is changed or if the policy is allowed to lapse, you or your children would be entitled to a portion of your ex-partner’s estate equal in value to the cover offered by the insurance policy he or she was supposed to retain.

And if it all sounds a little confusing, and the divorce settlement has come and gone, but your children’s dependency and your partner’s unreliability remains, then be bold. Put a few dollars aside each month to purchase a life insurance policy from Pinnacle Life online where you’re in control.

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