When a couple decides to separate or divorce, there are several legal matters that need to be addressed, including the division of assets and liabilities, child custody and support, and spousal maintenance. However, one often overlooked aspect of a separation agreement is the life insurance clause.
What is a Life Insurance Clause?
A life insurance clause is a provision in a separation agreement that requires one or both parties to maintain life insurance coverage for the benefit of the other party or their children. The purpose of this clause is to provide financial security in case of the death of the paying party, who may be obligated to pay child support, spousal support, or make other payments as part of the separation agreement.
Why is a Life Insurance Clause Important?
A life insurance clause is important because it helps ensure that the financial obligations outlined in the separation agreement are fulfilled, even in the event of an unexpected death. The life insurance benefit can be used to cover ongoing expenses such as child support or spousal maintenance or pay off outstanding debts.
Without a life insurance clause, the surviving party or children may struggle financially, especially if the paying party dies unexpectedly. This can lead to legal disputes, delays in receiving support, and additional stress during an already difficult time.
What Should You Consider When Including a Life Insurance Clause?
When including a life insurance clause in a separation agreement, there are several things to consider. First, you should determine the amount of coverage needed to meet the financial obligations outlined in the agreement. This may include any outstanding debts, ongoing expenses, and future needs.
You should also consider who will pay the premiums for the life insurance policy and how long the policy should remain in effect. Typically, the paying party is responsible for the premiums, but this can be negotiated as part of the agreement.
Lastly, it is important to review and update the life insurance clause periodically or as circumstances change, such as the birth of a child or a change in financial circumstances.
A life insurance clause may not be the first thing that comes to mind when creating a separation agreement, but it is an important provision that can provide financial security in case of an unexpected death. As a professional, it is important to ensure that the life insurance clause is clear, concise, and easy to understand for both parties involved. By addressing this aspect of the separation agreement, you can help ensure that all parties are protected and have peace of mind during a difficult time.