Is Life Insurance Required in New York State Law in a Divorce?

By Teo Spengler

Life insurance can play an important role in a divorce. A divorce court can require that an existing life insurance policy be maintained with the ex-spouse or minor children as beneficiaries. It can also order a divorcing spouse to obtain and maintain such a policy. However, obtaining a life insurance policy is not a general condition of a divorce in New York.

Life insurance can play an important role in a divorce. A divorce court can require that an existing life insurance policy be maintained with the ex-spouse or minor children as beneficiaries. It can also order a divorcing spouse to obtain and maintain such a policy. However, obtaining a life insurance policy is not a general condition of a divorce in New York.

New York Divorce

As in every other state, a New York divorce can be difficult or expedited depending on whether the couple agrees on divorce issues like property division, child custody and support. If one spouse qualifies for residence under state laws, either spouse can file a petition for divorce in the New York Supreme Court. Forms are available from the courts and also from online legal service providers.

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Marital Property

In New York, marital property to be equitably divided upon divorce includes all property acquired by either spouse from the day of marriage through the divorce filing. it excludes property either spouse received through gift or inheritance or to compensate for pain and suffering in a personal injury case. Life insurance policies purchased or paid for during the marriage are marital property and subject to equitable division by the court.

Divorce Agreement

Sometimes a divorce agreement may specify that a spouse paying support maintain a life insurance policy to protect his children or former spouse in case he dies before his obligations terminate. If a New York court approves the agreement, its decree essentially orders the parties to follow the terms they agreed to, including any terms regarding the life insurance policy.

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Military Divorce and Alimony

Military couples cannot get divorced by military courts, so they must get their divorces in state courts. Since divorce laws vary between states, alimony may be awarded in one case but not in a similar case in another state. Alimony amounts may also vary according to each state’s laws, though federal law caps the amount a state court can take from a military member’s wages.

Divorce Laws Regarding Insurance in Wisconsin

For some couples, insurance coverage is a significant factor in their divorce, because terminating a marriage often means terminating insurance coverage. Most the estimated 65,000 American women who lose health insurance each year due to divorce previously had been covered under their husbands’ health insurance plans, according to a University of Michigan study. Wisconsin courts, however, have limited power to help uninsured spouses maintain coverage after divorce.

Does a Divorce Decree Nullify a Life Insurance Policy?

The issue of life insurance is a central point in many divorce actions. If you are considering divorce, you will have to take into account ownership and designated beneficiaries of any life insurance policies. The marital settlement agreement will settle the status of the insurance and set out any requirements for how it should be handled after the court finalizes the decree.

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