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Life insurance and divorce settlements

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2022 | Divorce

During a divorce, estranged Tennessee couples might need to get life insurance as part of their settlement. Life insurance might be ordered by a judge when determining child and spousal support, or it might be negotiated by the spouses when discussing the issues related to divorce, as a way to secure that financial support continues even if the payer dies.

Why should you include life insurance as part of your divorce?

Life continues after divorce, and a reason for the financial support awarded during the process is to ensure that the quality of life of the couple’s children and of the lesser-earning spouse can continue as well. However, if this support is threatened or ended due to the death of the payer or another unfortunate situation, that quality of life will suffer. A life insurance policy is a guarantee for financial support, no matter the situation.

How much life insurance do you need?

Calculating the value of the life insurance policy the person who is paying support must buy is complex. To arrive at an amount, the spouses must consider a variety of factors, including:

  • The age of the children and how much basic support they anticipate having to pay until each child turns 18
  • Additional expenses related to the children, such as extra-curricular activities and medical needs
  • Anticipated college costs when each child is set to begin university
  • The years and amount of spousal support that need to be paid

Life insurance policies can get expensive, especially when considering the age of the paying spouse and their overall health. In some cases, the payment for the policy might be too high and the spouses might need to negotiate other ways to secure the financial support, such as through property. Finally, a decision about how beneficiaries will be set up also needs to be clear to avoid conflicts.