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.

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.

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.

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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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Is a Divorce Decree Supposed to Be Signed by the Petitioner & the Respondent?



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Kansas Law on Divorce & Beneficiary Designation

Sharing of property is fundamental to most marriages. In Kansas, when a couple decides to get divorced, assets acquired before or during the marriage must be divided regardless of how title is held. This includes benefits to be paid at death, such as life insurance policies and trust funds. While divorce automatically revokes the inheritance status of a former spouse in a will, all other beneficiary designations must be changed through the divorce decree and then forwarded to the company that issued the policy.

An Uncontested Divorce in Kansas

Although an uncontested divorce may be less stressful and time-consuming than a contested divorce, you must ensure that you follow the laws of the state to properly dissolve the marriage. An uncontested divorce means that the couple agree to end the marriage and agree on the terms of the divorce, including spousal support, property division, child custody and child support. Before a divorce settlement agreement is finalized in Kansas, the court must review the settlement agreement to ensure that it is fair for both spouses.

The Advantages of Annulment

Divorce is the most common way to end the marriage relationship. However, states also recognize an alternative mechanism for canceling a marriage, referred to as an annulment. Annulments effectively return both parties to a position as if they were never married, thereby avoiding the need to resolve many of the major issues that need to be addressed in a divorce. This often results in a quicker and less costly option for qualifying couples.

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