Alimony, Child Support Payments, and Life Insurance


If you are seeking alimony and/or child support as part of your Pasadena divorce settlement, it may be a good idea to request that your ex be required to purchase a life insurance policy naming you as the beneficiary.

When two people are married, the purpose of life insurance is to ensure that the financially dependent spouse does not experience unnecessary hardship if the primary breadwinner were to pass away. Life insurance policies after a divorce offer a similar benefit. If your ex were to pass away with no life insurance and you were dependent upon alimony and/or child support payments as your primary source of income, you'd quickly find yourself in serious financial trouble.

The court can order your ex to carry life insurance listing you as the beneficiary. If possible, you want to be listed as the owner of the policy. Many people who have been ordered to pay alimony and/or child support are already unhappy with the court’s decision, so it’s unwise to assume that your ex will be promptly making all needed payments. If you are listed as the owner of the policy, you’ll receive premium notices and notifications of any lapse in coverage. This ensures that you stay protected.

If you have children with your ex, the children should be listed as contingent beneficiaries on the life insurance. If you were to pass away before your spouse, this would allow the money to pass to the children tax free. If the children are not listed as contingent beneficiaries, the money would go to your ex’s new spouse. A contingent beneficiary supersedes any will that your ex might make.

There are two main types of life insurance: term life insurance and whole life insurance. Term life insurance is the most cost-effective and suitable for providing protection if you only expect to need alimony and/or child support for a short time period. Whole life insurance has an investment component built in with a level death benefit and premium for the insured person's entire life span. This option is best if you’ve been awarded permanent alimony and will need protection for a long time period.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of legal representation for your divorce, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our skilled Pasadena matrimonial attorneys can help ensure that you receive the alimony and/or child support you need to secure your financial future.