Divorce changes everything. Just about every aspect of life is altered in some way. With so much to adapt to and so many details to work out, things get overlooked. One commonly forgotten detail is life insurance. In a Wyoming divorce, does the ex-spouse still get to be the beneficiary of one’s life insurance policy?
Normally, married couples name each other as beneficiary on their life insurance policies. If a spouse is employed, the policy helps take some of the financial burden off the remaining spouse in the event of his or her death. If a nonworking spouse passes away, the remaining spouse may have sudden, unexpected expenses as well. He or she may have to work less or take a lower-paying position once functioning as a single parent. He or she may also suddenly have the expense of child care, elder care or assistance with housework, and the life insurance policy will ease some of this burden.
When a couple gets divorced, many assume that the former spouses can no longer be beneficiaries on each other’s insurance policies, but that is not true. Normally, a policy holder can name anyone he or she wishes as beneficiary. Former spouses often have commingled interests and often still care for each other, and life insurance policies are often used to ensure both are still protected even though they are no longer married. They may have business dealings together that are protected by the insurance, or they may have children together.
One should always discuss any life insurance policies with his or her divorce attorney. During the negotiations details can be worked out as to who pays the premium, if the spouse must remain as the beneficiary or if the policy can be cancelled. If child support or spousal support is ordered, it may also be ordered that any life insurance policy remain in effect to ensure that support will continue even in the event of the spouse’s death. An experienced attorney will make sure the client’s interests are protected and all the details are in accordance with Wyoming law.