When it comes to alimony, the law recognizes that the goal of the award is to provide needed support for the recipient spouse. To further that objective, a court may order the payor spouse to go out and purchase a life insurance policy that will, in the event of the payor’s untimely death, allow the recipient spouse to obtain the equivalent of the alimony ordered in the divorce. If you are the spouse whom a judge has ordered to pay alimony (and make the purchase of life insurance), it is useful to bear in mind that the law requires the court to make certain specific findings of fact about your situation and, if the judge doesn’t, you may be able to get the order commanding purchase of insurance reversed. Whether you are the spouse ordered to buy insurance or you are the alimony recipient, it is wise to have the representation of an experienced Florida family law attorney to protect you interests and needs..
A divorce from the panhandle county of Okaloosa, which ended up going all the way to the First District Court of Appeal, was a case where life insurance was a contested issue. The trial judge ordered the husband to pay child support and also to pay $1,500 per month in alimony. The alimony was durational for a period of four years. The court also ordered the husband to purchase a life insurance policy to act as security for the child support and alimony obligations.
In order for a spouse/parent to be required by law to purchase life insurance, there are certain procedural steps that the court must complete. For one thing, the law requires that the judge must make specific factual findings about the supporting spouse/parent’s ability to pay and the recipient spouse/parent’s need, just as the law requires for an award of alimony generally.
When it comes to life insurance, those findings must go further. The amount of insurance that the judge orders the supporting spouse/parent to obtain must have a direct relationship to the amount of support required by the court’s order. In other words, if a court ordered you to pay your ex-spouse durational alimony of $1,000 per month for five years, but then also ordered you to obtain a $200,000 life insurance policy to secure the alimony award, you might have a very strong argument that the insurance requirement and the alimony obligation lacked the required relationship connection.
The court must make findings in its order about “the availability and cost of insurance” The court must also look into “special circumstances,” such as the number of minor children living at home.
Whether you are a payor or a recipient of alimony, you can rely upon the helpful advice and strong advocacy of the South Florida family law attorneys at Sandy T. Fox, P.A. Our attorneys have been providing clients with the effective representation they need for many years. Contact our attorneys online or by calling (800) 596-0579 to schedule your confidential consultation.
More blog posts:
How the Court’s Ruling About the Tax Consequences of Your Alimony Can Alter the Size of the Award, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, Feb. 19, 2018
The Rules for Requiring a Spouse to Purchase Life Insurance to Secure an Alimony Award in Florida, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, Nov. 15, 2017