Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

Requiring a paying party to maintain life insurance to secure an alimony or child support award is subject to the court making certain findings. Ultimately, a party cannot be forced to maintain life insurance that is not affordable, nor can a party be made to pay for insurance coverage that does not match the amount to be secured. 

A case was just decided this month in the Florida First District Court of Appeal which reiterated these rules (see McKnight v. McKnight, 1D17-5088 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018). In this case, the former husband was ordered by the trial court to obtain life insurance coverage in the amount of $1 million to secure his child support obligation for a 16-year old child. Additionally, he was made to secure his alimony obligation even though the former wife was relatively young and no evidence suggested she would be left in dire circumstances should the former husband pass away before fulfilling his alimony obligation. 

In reversing the life insurance obligation for the alimony, the appellate court noted that the former wife was relatively young, had a college degree, was in good health and was employed. Therefore it was unlikely she would be in dire circumstances if the alimony was discontinued. The court noted the child support obligation would end in about 2 years, the former husband owed no arrears and the former wife received substantial equitable distribution. Therefore, there was no justification for the former husband to have to maintain $1 million in life insurance and his obligation should be reduced to match the amount he actually had left on his child support payments. 

Schedule a consultation with a Miami divorce lawyer to learn whether or not you may be required to maintain life insurance to secure your support obligations, or if you are entitled to have your payments secured by a life insurance policy.