Linden Attorneys Discusses Securing Alimony Through a Life Insurance Policy
Serving Clients in Rahway, Clark, Roselle, Roselle Park, Garwood, Elizabeth, and throughout Union County, Essex County, and northern Middlesex County.
Divorce settlements are complicated matters. Sometimes, they include one spouse’s legally bound agreement to help their partner get on their feet financially after the divorce. This spousal support, called alimony, is an established aspect of a divorce proceeding, and New Jersey law holds that an ex-spouse may be required to pay spousal support for a limited or extended time, based on the partner’s need.
4 Types of NJ Alimony
In New Jersey, alimony may be awarded in any case in which one party is financially unable to support themselves or their families as a result of the divorce. Specific laws surround this award of alimony, including a time limit for required payment that would not exceed the length of the marriage itself, as well as different structures based on the relational needs of the ex-partners.
The four structures, or types, of alimony, are
- open durational alimony
- rehabilitative alimony
- limited durational alimony
- reimbursement alimony
Securing Alimony Through Ex Spouses Life Insurance Policy
During a divorce proceeding, a New Jersey family court may require that the ex-spouse responsible for supporting their partner take out a life insurance policy to secure the alimony payments – or child support – they are legally required to pay will continue even in the case of the death of the supporting partner. The court-ordered or mutually-decided agreement to take out a life insurance policy, then, serves the same purpose as it does in the case of a whole family unit: support of the family in the case of the death of one of the spouses.
Often, however, the alimony agreed upon amounts to less than the insurance policy the ex-spouse takes out. In such a case, the financial rewards of this insurance do not belong solely to the security of the alimony payment and are the supporting partner’s personal assets. It is important to have a divorce attorney support the process of discerning in legal standing what is personal asset and what is alimony or child support security in these cases. Or, alternately, a divorce attorney will redraft, yearly, the Marital Settlement Agreement in which alimony and security are determined in order to ensure that the amount of insurance securing the alimony payments decline as the owed alimony declines.
Another commonality is that in the process of determining alimony, no security measure is determined. In other words, no requirement of an insurance policy is made or agreed upon. This absence is clearly a risk, as the supported spouse and even children may be left without the financial support that was legally promised them in the untimely death of their ex-partner.
The opinion of one judge, Judge Lawrence Jones, in a case of divorce settlement Ashmont vs. Ashmont, provided persuasive if not precedent advice regarding insurance to secure alimony. He suggested that
- the supported spouse, and not the one paying alimony, be named as the owner of the policy, as permitted by the insurance company. Generally, such a person would be named “beneficiary” or “insured;” however, if named “owner,” they would have specific rights to the receipt of communications regarding the policy that would otherwise go to the supporting spouse.
- The supporting spouse would face financial sanctions or other alternative penalties if they disobeyed or ignored a court-ordered sanction to hold an insurance policy to secure alimony. Additionally, the supporting spouse, upon remedying any disobeying of sanctions, may still be subject to consequence of the original violation.
Retain a Union County NJ Divorce and Alimony Attorney to Discuss Your Case Today
At Law Office of Edward S. Cooper, our attorneys have extensive experience helping parents across Roselle Park, Garwood, Elizabeth, and throughout Union County, Essex County, and northern Middlesex County in all family law matters, including drafting comprehensive Marital Settlement and Alimony Agreements, and modifying insurance security agreements as alimony is paid overtime.
Our unique approach focuses on finding solutions that ensure the stability of the families involved, rather than over-litigating matters and sowing strife and resentment, thereby costing families precious relationships and resources needed to protect their individual futures.
To speak with our firm today in a comprehensive and confidential case assessment regarding your divorce or your Marital Settlement Agreement, please contact us online, or through our Linden, NJ office at (908) 481-4625.