Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Alimony

Getting alimony awarded in a Miami divorce is a victory that may be for naught if no life insurance secures the award.  You can ask the court to have the spouse ordered to pay alimony obtain a life insurance policy, but there are strict guidelines that must be followed in order for this request to be enforceable. 

Most forms of Florida alimony terminate upon the death of the paying spouse. If you were awarded alimony for ten years, for example, and you were relying heavily on that award to meet your expenses for the next 10 years, you can imagine how difficult things might be if your ex passed away within a year of the final judgment being entered. Without the court requiring your ex to provide life insurance to secure the award of alimony, you would receive no further payments after the death, resulting in a loss of 9 years of payments, which is no doubt substantial. 

Florida law requires the court to look at the need for such insurance, the cost and availability of such insurance, and the financial impact upon the paying spouse before ordering that life insurance be paid. Explicitly, the law states that absent special circumstances, a paying spouse cannot be ordered to maintain life insurance to secure a spousal support payment. 

Consider the recently published appellate case Shimer v. Corey, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D2467 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2017). In that case, the appellate court found the trial court made an error when it failed to make any required findings to support its order for the former wife to obtain life insurance to secure her alimony obligation and it found that there was no evidence presented at trial to support a finding of that life insurance was necessary or that there were special circumstances warranting the obligation. 

Because the law requires specific steps to be taken, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney to assist you in the Miami family law process. Discuss your case with a Miami divorce attorney to learn how the law applies to the specific facts of your case.