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Do I Need Life Insurance Before Getting a Long Island, NY Divorce? 

Do I Need Life Insurance Before Getting a Long Island, NY Divorce?

Few individuals think about the need for a life insurance policy while in the middle of contemplating whether to legally separate or get a divorce on Long Island, NY. Yet, life insurance coverage is a crucial factor in several divorce settlements. It’s important to talk about life insurance policies with your divorce attorneys to determine if you need to make changes to your current life insurance policies or take out additional life insurance coverage prior to your divorce. Here’s what to know about life insurance and New York divorces, and how veteran attorneys Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. can assist you.

Is Life Insurance Sometimes Mandatory for a New York Divorce? 

In some circumstances, a judge may deem it necessary for one or both spouses to have a life insurance policy at the time of dissolving their marriage. This is usually in circumstances where one or both spouses have financial obligations to children or to each other that will still need to be met should one spouse pass away prematurely. If a couple going through a divorce doesn’t have life insurance coverage or has insufficient life insurance coverage, a judge may order either or both spouses to purchase a new or additional policy. 

Life Insurance & Child Support 

When a married couple has a child, it is typically recommended that they purchase one or more life insurance policies to ensure that their child or future additional children will be fiscally supported in the event of their untimely illness or death.

When a couple divorces, life insurance policies then become tied to child support to protect the child’s access to food, clothing, utilities, housing, education, extracurricular activities, athletics, daycare, and post-secondary education. If a parent who is making child support payments dies before the minor child reaches the age of 18, a properly written life insurance policy can secure the child’s financial needs now and in the future. For this reason, a judge may order a child support payer to also obtain a life insurance policy and show proof of the coverage to the court. 

Life Insurance & Alimony 

Alimony or Spousal Support payments may also be secured with life insurance coverage if spousal support is ordered in the divorce decree. When acquiring a life insurance policy, both spouses and their attorneys should specify how the total amount of alimony will be calculated if the payer passes away, as well as for what duration the payment term will proceed.

These figures may vary based on whether the beneficiary receives short-term or long-term spousal support. Based on the individual conditions of the divorce, a family court judge may order the spouse paying alimony to buy life insurance to assure the payment of spousal maintenance in the unfortunate event that they die prematurely before their alimony obligation is met. 

Updating Your Life Insurance Beneficiary After a Divorce 

Most people who are married and have life insurance policies choose their spouse as the principal beneficiary, particularly if they are the ones who generate the majority of the family income. In the event of a divorce, however, you likely won’t want your ex getting the insurance payout. If you don’t have children with your ex-spouse, who could use that money to provide for your children, there are few compelling reasons to keep an ex as a beneficiary on your life insurance policy.

Fortunately, the majority of life insurance plans are revocable, which means that the owner of the policy can name a new beneficiary whenever they like. Some policies, however, specify irrevocable beneficiaries, which means that once they are named, the beneficiary may not be altered. The most sensible approach to making changes to your life insurance policy during or after your divorce is to call your life insurance agency and speak with someone who can check the terms of your policy and whether or not your beneficiary may be redesignated.

Getting a Divorce? Get Help from the Experienced Attorneys at Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. 

Dissolving your marriage comes with a great deal of nuance for which many people are not prepared. Life insurance is simply one of those things that many people don’t think twice about in the context of ending a marriage. At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., our veteran New York family attorneys can help protect your best interests during the process of getting a divorce. Contact us now by calling 631-923-1910 or filling out the short form on this page. 


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Divorce Lawyer Long Island New York
Melissa Rappa
Melissa Rappa
18:09 08 Feb 24
At one of the hardest and most stressful times of my life, it was so comforting to have a team at Hornberger and Verbitsky who ALWAYS responded in record speed to my questions, phone calls, emails or texts and who I felt really cared about helping me through this difficult time. It was a long few years and I am grateful to all of you. Thank you so much Rob, AnneMarie, Christine, Patty, Joan and Lawrence. Your guidance, professionalism and expertise is appreciated beyond measure.
Paul Carmichael
Paul Carmichael
16:21 11 Dec 23
I would give 6 stars if I could. I can't say enough good things about Robert and his firm. We were in a situation for over 2 years and I could have never made it through without Robert's experience and knowledge. He guided me through tough times when needed and his expertise could "read" the situation and make the next best move for me. He was tough when he needed to be tough (thankfully) and at the same time guided me through the process to make me feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. I would not want to go through this process without Robert and his team having my back. he helped move the case along and not waste any time or money. One last time, I 100% endorse Robert and his expertise.
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