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Florida Family Law

Death of a Party Post Divorce - What to do about Alimony and Child Support

Posted on March 30, 2016

We all know the drill. The divorce is stressful, everyday life is stressful, and keeping it all together during the divorce process is a feat in itself.  Death of a party after a divorce is one issue that many do not consider when they are finalizing their Final Judgment and it is a simple fix if you ask the questions that many forget to ask. What do we do if our former spouse dies shortly after the divorce?

Most practitioners worth their salt will include a provision within the Final Judgment that provides that the payor spouse will secure and maintain a life insurance policy to secure an amount of money necessary to cover the alimony and child support payments to the payee.

It is important to note that the Final Judgment must also have the following findings so that the requirement to maintain and secure life insurance is not set aside by a Judge in the future.  The following findings MUST be within your Final Judgment, and they include:

  1. the amount of the life insurance policy necessary to secure the alimony and/or child support obligation
  2. the payor spouse can afford the life insurance policy
  3. the life insurance policy is available to the payor spouse and that
  4. the payor spouse has the ability to pay for the life insurance policy.

TIP: Another helpful tip you might want to include in your Final Judgment is that the payor spouse shall provide the soon to be former spouse proof/documentation each year that the life insurance policy is in effect so that there are no surprises.  You can and should insist on this provision to protect you and your family in the long run.   

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