Alimony

Can a court require maintenance of a life insurance policy as security for alimony?

If your divorce case involves alimony, it is important to understand how your funds are rewarded. 

It is well settled Florida law that a court can obligate a spouse to maintain a life insurance policy as security for an alimony payment. However, a life insurance obligation can not be required absent evidence as to cost, amount, or the availability of such life insurance. What happens when a trial court does not evaluate evidence as to cost, amount, or the availability of a life insurance obligation?

A recent 5th District Court of Appeals case analyzed this situation. In Goldman v. Goldman, the trial court ordered the husband to maintain a life insurance policy as security for alimony. Although the appellate court acknowledged that a court may order a spouse to maintain a life insurance policy as security for the payment of alimony, the appellate court noted that this requirement can not be ordered without evidence or findings of cost, amount, or the availability of such life insurance. Therefore, since the trial court did not use evidence or make requisite findings, the case was reversed and remanded back to trial.

A life insurance award will help secure your alimony obligation in the event your former spouse passes away unexpectedly.  In the family law court, the judge must make specific findings regarding the life insurance.  So, in preparing for your hearing on this issue, it is imperative that you do research in order to determine how much it will costs your former spouse to maintain a life insurance policy.  Sometimes, a party will agree to submit to the physical necessary for life insurance but request that the payee spouse pay the life insurance premium.  Often, if the payor spouse is relatively young, the premium amount will not be much.  However, if the payor spouse has health issues or is older in life, then the life insurance premium could be much higher.  Doing your do diligence and research on the life insurance available is imperative when requesting a family law judge award a life insurance policy to secure an alimony obligation.

Your attorney should be familiar with all Florida statutes pertaining to a court’s evaluation of spousal obligations. This will help ensure you get the alimony you deserve and help prevent costly appellate proceedings.

If you have any questions related to family law or require legal assistance in other areas of Family Law you may always contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at contact@themckinneylawgroup.com.

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