Almost everyone has heard of insurance for cars, boats, houses, your health and even your life. In fact, it’s even possible to insure your body parts, your wedding and you ransom payment in the event of a kidnapping. But did you know that you can also insure your child and spousal support payments? No? Well, you aren’t alone. Most people don’t realize that. However, it’s true, so we would like to provide an overview of what that entails, so that you can decide if child and spousal support insurance is for you.
Let’s say you’re getting a divorce. You and your spouse have two children, and with the help of your attorneys you’ve arranged a custody agreement that suits you both. Let’s also assume, for the sake of this example, that your spouse earns a substantially higher salary, and so will be making child support payments. In addition, your attorney has arranged a spousal support payment for you. Great. Now what?
Well, the truth is, you and your children will probably depend on those payments for years to come, in order to meet your daily needs and prepare for your financial future. But what would happen if your ex develops a debilitating disease, or is involved in an accident that leaves them disabled and unable work, thus leaving them unable to make those payments? Or worse, what would happen if they passed away unexpectedly? This is where the insurance comes in.
PROTECTION THROUGH LIFE INSURANCE
It is now possible to secure your child support and your spousal support with life insurance. Many divorcing couples choose to secure their support obligations with a life insurance policy. Providing a life insurance policy to cover any support obligations you may incur during a divorce is actually a great way to ensure that your children’s needs will be met, regardless of what may happen to you or your former spouse, in the future.
If you are going to be the parent who has custody of the children after the divorce, it would be be smart to give some thought to your long term financial future. Even more so if your children are very young, and you have many years of parenting ahead of you. Life insurance that supports your spousal and child insurance would take care of this issue for you.
Some divorce agreements will allow the custodial parent to take out a life insurance policy on the noncustodial parent, while others will require that the noncustodial parent pay for a policy on his or her life, and name the custodial parent as beneficiary. If the latter is what your divorce agreement states, then be sure that your agreement also states that you receive regular proof that the policy is still in effect and hasn’t been cancelled without your knowledge.
PROTECTION THROUGH DISABILITY INSURANCE
Another possible risk to your support payments is disability. If your ex becomes disabled, isn’t able to work, and has no disability insurance, there is always the chance that the court will modify the alimony and child support obligation by reducing or even eliminating the payments. With a disability insurance policy, your ex will receive monthly benefit payments in the event of a disability, and is far more likely to be able to continue to meet the alimony and child support agreements.
It is important to note, however, that unlike life insurance, you cannot own a disability insurance policy on someone else. For this reason, it is critical to have this stipulated in your divorce agreement, if this is something that you wish to put in place for your future. Just like conditions of the life insurance policy, if your ex is required per the agreement to take out a disability insurance policy and pay the premiums, you will need to receive regular proof that the policy is still active and in force.
So do you actually need spousal or child support insurance? Well, just like the saying goes, “everything is alright, until it’s not.” Paying for full coverage car insurance can feel like a waste of money when you’ve never been in a car accident and you’re a careful driver. But on the day that someone runs a red light and smashes into the side of your vehicle, totaling it completely, you’ll be very glad you made all those payments.
In the same way, adjusting a life insurance policy to cover support payments may seem like an unnecessary step, but if something were to happen to you down the road, you (and your children) will be very grateful you did. No one knows what the future holds, but the best thing we can do is be prepared.
If you have any questions about what this process entails, or what would be best for your family’s future, talk to your family law attorney. The skilled attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have many years of experience handling these types of divorce-related matters. If you are unsure about your options and need advice, or would like a properly drafted life insurance provision in a separate agreement on your behalf, contact us today. We can help you.