Understanding the role of insurable interest in your finances
If you're wondering if you can purchase a life insurance policy on your ex-spouse, or your child's mother or father, the short answer is yes. As long as you can demonstrate an “insurable interest” on an individual, you can generally purchase a life insurance policy on their life.
Having an insurable interest means you stand to suffer a serious financial loss in the event of someone's death. It can often be demonstrated in the case of an ex-spouse or co-parent because the death of such an individual could result in the loss of financial support for the surviving children or former spouse.
However, purchasing a policy on your ex-spouse or partner requires their knowledge and cooperation. It's also when things can get complicated. If your relationship with your ex is less than ideal, or that person is simply not invested in your welfare or that of their child, it might be difficult to convince them to meet the terms necessary for life insurance coverage.
The subject of who should pay for the premiums on a life insurance policy can also be problematic. If your ex doesn't feel that he or she should be obligated to make the premium payments by themselves, they may suggest that you split the cost of the premiums down the middle. If you're worried that co-managing the policy might involve too much haggling, or become too stressful, you might consider making premium payments on your own.
Sometimes a divorce settlement may require the non-custodial parent to take out a life insurance policy on their own life for the benefit of the children. And if they fail to purchase or maintain a policy, they can be held in violation of the divorce decree. If you are in the middle of divorce proceedings, be sure to discuss adding such a stipulation to your divorce settlement with your divorce attorney, if necessary. Getting this matter settled in divorce court can be more effective than pursuing the matter on your own and after the fact.
Get the support you need
Navigating a divided family can be both emotionally and financially difficult. If you feel that you or your children are in need of monetary support, then discuss the best way for you to get the help you need with your attorney. That help and financial security may come in the form of a life insurance policy.
Explore the differences between alimony and child support, or read more tips for sorting out life insurance after divorce.