Disability insurance and child or spousal support

by | Aug 13, 2015 | Firm News, High-Asset Divorce |

Many California residents rely on spousal or child support payments to make ends meet, and courts will often take steps designed to ensure their financial security. Courts may sometimes order that a life insurance policy be taken out by the party responsible for making support payments, but spouses receiving financial support may still be left vulnerable if the payor were to become permanently disabled.

Sometimes an employee receives disability insurance as part of their compensation package, but the benefits generally cover only a percentage of their income. Disability benefits paid by Social Security are also unlikely to match the income levels that a disabled individual previously enjoyed, and this can make it very difficult for them to keep up with their child or spousal support responsibilities. They could petition the court to have their obligations lowered, but this may cause great hardships for their former spouses or children.

Taking out a divorce disability insurance policy is a way to avoid this unfortunate situation. These policies ensure that the terms of a divorce decree are honored if the payor were to become disabled. While this type of insurance generally covers child and spousal support payments, items such as school tuition and medical insurance premiums my also be incorporated. The requirement to maintain this type of insurance is sometimes written into divorce settlements, but the documents generally require no modifications if the coverage is added at a later date.

Spouses are often eager to get through the divorce process as quickly as possible, but family law attorneys may point out that even situations that seem unlikely to occur should be considered and planned for. An attorney may recommend that life and disability insurance be included in a divorce settlement, and they could also scrutinize insurance documents to ensure that the coverage is adequate and that the beneficiary designations are in order.