Life insurance is one of the financial assets you must disclose during your divorce as part of the equitable distribution process. But the court can treat your policy any number of ways, depending on your family’s overall circumstances:
- A piece of property — A whole life policy has cash value. The court may assess the surrender value of the policy and, if premiums were paid with marital property, treat it as an asset of the marital estate. If the policyholder took out the policy before the marriage and continued to pay premiums with separate property, the policy is separate property.
- Security against support obligations — A court may use the policy as a means of indemnifying a dependent spouse/custodial parent for unpaid obligations.
- Insurance against the untimely death of a supporting spouse/parent — If the court orders the policyholder to pay child support and/or alimony, the court can also order the life insurance policy maintained in case death prevents the policyholder from providing support.
There are many strategies a party to divorce can employ regarding a life insurance policy, including a restraining order preventing the policy owner from changing the beneficiary. This must be more specific than an order preventing a party from transferring property, because a change in beneficiary is not technically a change in ownership. This order can stay in place until the divorce is finalized and then be incorporated into the divorce decree.
However, if the court distributes the policy as property to the policyholder and does not specifically rule on beneficiary rights, the other spouse generally does not have a right to remain as beneficiary.
The Effect of Facebook on Divorce
A new study presents facts that seem to underpin the idea that a couple splitting up can influence their close friends toward divorce.
The new study looked at data from the Framingham Heart Study, a long-term longitudinal study that follows more than 5,000 residents of Framingham, Massachusetts. To examine factors of cardiovascular health, the original study group has been followed since 1948. Many spouses and children of the original cohort are enrolled in the study, providing substantial data for researchers studying the effects of social networks.
Findings of the study include:
- The divorce of a close friend, or a friend once removed, significantly increases the possibility of divorce.
- (In what seems a logical point for this day and age) divorcees are more likely to marry divorcees.
- People with more friends in their social network are less likely to be divorced, possibly due to supportive friends who help them through the difficult times of any marriage.
- Divorcees often become less popular when the social network of a couple divides.
- Children did not prove a factor in divorce, and in fact, the presence of one or more children reduced vulnerability to divorce in a social network.
Because of the homogeneity of the background of participants in the study, the results cannot be considered applicable throughout the United States. For everyone, though, the study does make an important comment that “Divorce should be understood as a collective phenomenon that extends beyond those directly affected.”
Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah
If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.
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