Can You Keep Life Insurance on Your Ex-Spouse?

Financial adjustments after a divorce can be complex. Here’s one question that often surfaces: Can you keep life insurance on your ex-spouse? 

The answer to this question largely depends on your financial interdependence post-divorce.

Do you rely on your ex for any of the following?

If you depend on your ex for any of the following, it may be in your best interest to have a life insurance policy on them.

Alimony payments

If you receive alimony, the sudden loss of your ex-spouse could leave you financially vulnerable. Life insurance can serve as a safety net in such a situation.

Child support

If your ex-spouse is responsible for child support, their untimely demise could create financial instability for your children. A life insurance policy can help ensure continuity of support.

Co-signed loans

If you have co-signed loans with your former spouse, their death could make you solely responsible for repayment. Life insurance could ease this burden.

Remember, every situation is unique, and it's crucial to consider your individual circumstances when making this decision.

Getting their permission

So now you may be thinking, "Yes. I definitely need life insurance on my ex so I don't become financially vulnerable."

Here's a hard truth: You cannot secure a life insurance policy on your ex-spouse without their knowledge and consent. Insurance companies necessitate the insured party's signature. It's a matter of legal and ethical standards.

However, there's a workaround. During divorce proceedings, you can negotiate an agreement where your ex-spouse consents to maintain an existing policy or purchase a new one naming you as the beneficiary.

Court-ordered life insurance during the divorce process

Sometimes, the court may step in to ensure financial stability post-divorce through court-ordered life insurance. This is a mandate that one spouse must maintain a life insurance policy with the other as the beneficiary. 

Why might this occur? Typically, it's to safeguard alimony or child support payments.

If the paying ex-spouse were to pass away unexpectedly, these funds could dry up, leaving the recipient in a precarious situation. A court-ordered life insurance policy serves as a financial buffer, ensuring continuity of support. It's the court's way of keeping the scales balanced, even when life throws a curveball.

Be aware, however, that if your ex stops paying the premiums, the policy could lapse. And since the policy is completely out of your hands, you may not know until it's too late.

If you have questions about life insurance after divorce or other divorce-related concerns, we invite you to work with us. Hello Divorce offers a broad menu of services, one of which is hourly legal consultations.

Want to learn more about what we offer? Visit our website, or schedule a free 15-minute call with an account coordinator.

Suggested: Life Insurance after Divorce

Divorce Content Specialist & Lawyer
Divorce Strategy, Divorce Process, Legal Insights

Bryan is a non-practicing lawyer, HR consultant, and legal content writer. With nearly 20 years of experience in the legal field, he has a deep understanding of family and employment laws. His goal is to provide readers with clear and accessible information about the law, and to help people succeed by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the legal landscape. Bryan lives in Orlando, Florida.