Life insurance may be the last thing on your mind when facing a divorce. Odds are good you’re more worried about how sharing time with the kids will work or how you will split up the marital property and debts. Nevertheless, life insurance is an important issue to think about, especially if you have children who will continue to depend on you for care and support of if spousal support is a factor.
The importance of life insurance after divorce
If you expect to be paying child support, have you thought about what will happen to your children if something happens to you? You may not relish the thought of your ex-spouse living off your life insurance proceeds, but the fact is your children need to be provided for if something happens to you.
You may consider naming your children as your life insurance beneficiaries. Although minor children can’t receive the funds directly, the money can be held in trust to provide for the children’s health, education, maintenance and support.
If the shoe is on the other foot and you expect to be receiving child support or spousal support, you should make sure your ex is required to keep life insurance after the divorce for the benefit of yourself and your children, if any.
Even if you plan to have an evenly divided custody arrangement and neither party expects to pay child support to the other, life insurance proceeds can be used to fill the child care gap after the death of a parent.
Talking to your soon-to-be ex
Unfortunately in many cases when a relationship reaches the breaking point it’s difficult — if not impossible — to communicate effectively with the other person. Bitter emotions can make it hard to talk about the obvious issues like custody and support, much less non-pressing issues such as life insurance.
The best strategy is to make a list of topics you feel are important and stick to it when you have an opportunity to discuss the issues with your spouse. If at any point the conversation deteriorates to blaming or arguing, discontinue your discussion and save your energy for another day.
Rely on your attorney to fight for you
Another option is to give your list of important issues to your attorney. Your attorney’s role as your exclusive advocate means you get the benefit of a representative in your corner who does not have the emotional triggers your spouse knows so well.
Your attorney can also explain Texas law as to who owns an existing life insurance policy on you or your spouse. Be prepared to provide proof of the source of the initial premium payment when the policy began.
What if you already got divorced but forgot to change your beneficiary?
If your spouse was named as your life insurance beneficiary during your marriage and then you got divorced, the general rule is that the divorced spouse is no longer eligible to receive your life insurance benefits. There are exceptions to this rule, so be sure to talk to your attorney before making any beneficiary changes.
Call for answers to your family law questions
The attorneys at Peterson Law Group are ready to help with your family law problems, including divorce, custody, visitation and support. Call one of our experienced Conroe, Texas divorce attorneys at 936-337-4681 or 979-703-7014 to set up a meeting or visit us online today.