How Life Insurance Works in a Divorce. Among the messy tasks that must be undertaken in a divorce, sorting out life insurance is one that often gets overlooked. In the midst of the custody battles, divvying up assets, searching for a new home, ensuring the children adjust as smoothly as possible and just generally re- acclimating to life as a single person, figuring out what to do with life insurance sometimes falls by the wayside. However, dealing with life insurance is an important part of the divorce process. This is especially true for divorcing couples with children. Keeping life insurance in order protects the financial interests of both parties and their dependent children.
This process involves making necessary beneficiary changes, accounting for the cash value in whole or universal life policies, protecting child support and alimony income, and, most importantly, ensuring that any children involved are financially protected, no matter what. Insurance Beneficiary Changes to Make During a Divorce. Most married people with life insurance list their spouse as the primary beneficiary. The purpose of life insurance is to protect those closest to you from financial devastation if you die and your income is lost.
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Divorce can trigger all sorts of unsettling, uncomfortable and frightening feelings, thoughts and emotions, including grief, loneliness, depression, d. The leader in online divorce form preparation. Providing easy, private and fast online divorce without lawyer fees. 100% guaranteed of court approval. LegalZoom is the nation's leading provider of personalized, online legal solutions and legal documents for small businesses and families. Form an LLC, incorporate a.
For a married person, no one is closer than a spouse. Having your spouse as your beneficiary ensures he can keep paying the mortgage, putting food on the table and, if applicable, raising the children without your income. Having life insurance is especially important if you provide the majority of the income. In the case of a divorce, particularly an acrimonious one, there is a good chance you will no longer want your ex- spouse profiting from your death. If no children are involved, few good reasons exist to continue having an ex- spouse as your life insurance beneficiary. Most life insurance policies are revocable, meaning the policy owner may change the beneficiary at any time.
Some appoint irrevocable beneficiaries, in which case the beneficiary, once designated, cannot be changed. The easiest way to change your beneficiary after the divorce is to contact your life insurance agent; he can verify if the policy is revocable and re- designate your beneficiary. Accounting for Cash Value. Some life insurance policies, particularly whole life and universal life policies, accumulate cash value over time. Each month when you make your premium payment, a portion of that money enters a fund that grows with interest.
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The balance of this fund is the policy's cash value. This is your money. At any point while the policy is active, you may elect to forgo the death benefit and instead take the cash value. This process is known as cashing out your life insurance policy.
For related reading, see: How Cash Value Builds in a Life Insurance Policy.)The cash value from a life insurance policy represents part of your net worth. The most equitable thing to do is to list the life insurance policy, including its cash value, among the marital assets to be divided. In a common divorce situation where assets are divided evenly, this means you leave the marriage with half the cash value from the policy. Protecting Child Support and Alimony Income. Protecting child support or alimony income is especially important for the spouse who takes primary custody of the children after the divorce. The money this spouse receives in child support from the noncustodial parent is supposed to go toward feeding and clothing the children and saving for college.
If the worst happens and the noncustodial parent is not around anymore, this income goes away and potentially leaves the custodial parent in a bind. Juveniles Tried As Adults Court Cases. If you have custody of the kids, the most prudent way to insulate yourself from the above situation is to maintain a life insurance policy on your ex- spouse with a benefit amount high enough to replace your child support or alimony income at least until the last child leaves for college. As the custodial parent, if your ex is irresponsible or untrustworthy, you may want to own the policy and pay the premium yourself since life insurance becomes null and void if the payments lapse. Protecting Your Children. One of the biggest challenges of divorce is that it frequently turns people into single parents. Sadly, many parents find they cannot rely on their ex- spouses after they end the marriage, financially or otherwise.
Divorced people in these sorts of situations become solely responsible for the care and upbringing of their children. When this happens, it is important to have an emergency plan in place.
For related reading, see: Budgeting as a Single Parent.)With your ex- spouse no longer in the picture and your children relying solely on you for financial support, if you die, they have nothing. Without your income, your children have no way to feed or clothe themselves, much less save for college. A guardian, either a relative or someone appointed by the state, will assume the care of your children, but there are still many unknown factors in this situation.
Emotional Coping and Divorce. Emotional Coping. Methods for Coping with Emotion. Coping with Divorce Divorce is generally a stressful and unsettling event. At minimum, a major relationship is ending, all sorts of routines are upset, and in the midst of the stress of transition there are legal hoops to jump through before things can be resolved.
Add in the volatile emotions that are frequently associated with divorce and you have a difficult situation indeed. In this section, we will talk about practical ways that divorcing people can cope with and make the best of their stressful circumstances. There are really two sides to the divorce process; the human emotional side and the formal legal side. Different coping strategies and skills are appropriate to address each of these aspects of divorce. Emotional Coping. Divorce can trigger all sorts of unsettling, uncomfortable and frightening feelings, thoughts and emotions, including grief, loneliness, depression, despair, guilt, frustration, anxiety, anger, and devastation, to name a few. There is frequently sadness and grief at the thought of the end of a significant relationship.
There can be fear at the prospect of being single again, possibly for a long time (or even forever), and with having to cope with changed financial, living and social circumstances. There can be anger at a partner's stubborn obstinacy and pettiness, abuse, or outright betrayal. There can be guilt over perceived failures to have made the relationship work. There can be overwhelming depression at the thought of the seeming impossibility of being able to cope with all the changes that are required. Any and all of these emotions are enough to make people miserable, and to find them wanting to cry at 3am in the morning.
Painful as they are, these sorts of emotions are generally natural grief- related reactions to a very difficult life- altering situation. Though there is no 'cure' for these feelings, there are some good and healthy ways to cope with them so as to suffer as little as possible, and to gain in wisdom, compassion and strength from having gone through the experience. The emotional coping process starts with allowing one's self the freedom to grieve and ends with moving on with one's life. Allow grieving to occur. Grief is a natural human reaction to loss. Grief is not a simple emotion itself, but rather is an instinctual emotional process that can invoke all sorts of emotional reactions as it runs its course.
The grief process tends to unfold in predictable patterns. Most commonly, people move back and forth between a shocked, numb state characterized by denial, depression, and/or minimization of the importance of the loss, and outraged anger, fear, and vulnerability.
The dialog between numb and upset continues over time as the person emotionally digests the nature of the loss. Ultimately, enough time passes that the loss comes to be thought of as something that happened in the past, and that is not a part of day- to- day life. Grief doesn't so much go away as it becomes irrelevant after a while. Fighting grief is often counterproductive.
Most of the time it is best to allow yourself to grieve in the ways that come naturally to you, at least part of the time. Eventually life comes back to 'normal' and the intensity of loss retreats. Different people take different amounts of time to go through their grief process and express their grief with different intensities of emotion. The amount of time people spend grieving depends on their personalities, and on the nature of their losses. Someone whose marriage was betrayed might take a longer time to work out their grief and to do it in a more vocal way than someone who chose to leave a marriage of their own accord.
Someone who found out suddenly about their spouses' affair might grieve differently than someone who has watched their marriage deteriorate for years. It is not realistic that grief over a lost marriage should be worked out in a month or even several months.
Most people will continue to deal with the emotional ramifications of loss for many months, sometimes even several years. Several years is a long time, however; really too long to spend exclusively grieving when life is so short. People who find that grief has not for the most part abated after 1. Choosing to move forward. While grief can be immobilizing at first, after a while, most grieving people find that, little by little, they are ready to move on with their lives. For a time, they may find themselves moving on and grieving at the same time.
Over time however, if everything goes well, the grieving process loses steam and more energy becomes available for moving on with life. Discussion of the moving forward process is handled in a later section of this document.
Methods for Coping with Emotion. As a practical matter, there are a number of things that people can do to help themselves cope while grieving the loss of a marriage. Prioritize. Unfortunately, life doesn't stop just because one is hurting.
The Six Signals of Divorce. On many occasions I have written about the issue of mutuality in divorce.
In few cases do both partners reach the decision to divorce at the same time. Invariably, one of the partners, perhaps the one with a lower pain threshold, decides that she just can't live with the marriage any longer, and notwithstanding all the loss and dislocation of divorce, decides that it would be better than continuing the marriage. Although the initiator can be and frequently is the husband, it is the wife in about seventy five percent of divorces who initiates the ending of the marriage. The non- initiating spouse may be close behind and may quickly agree that divorce is the best option. Or, he may be resistant, arguing that the marriage can be salvaged if only they try one more time and a little harder.
In some cases the non- initiator is completely thunderstruck arguing that they have an acceptable marriage and is she out of her mind to want to put the family through a divorce? The issue of mutuality is very important because the way it is managed generally determines whether the divorce will be amicable or bitter. As I have explored the reasons for this elsewhere I won't go into depth here.
All I want to do is to set the stage for a discussion of how one tells if a divorce is imminent. My goal is to educate the otherwise oblivious spouse who is surprised by the divorce even though the warning signs have been evident for a long time. Non Hodgkin S Lymphoma Adults. It is not my mission here to explore why marriages fail. My goal is limited to helping people recognize the warning signals as early as possible. Marriages don't break; they erode over time.
Each time a sarcastic or hurtful remark goes without repair or apology some of the bond that holds a couple together washes away. Each time a spouse fails to identify an emotional need of the other and attend to it, a little more glue disappears. Each time a conflict is avoided because the couple despairs of constructive discussion and resolution there is more erosion. And each time sex is refused or avoided because one of the partners feels emotionally disconnected the process accelerates. There are numerous other sources of erosion including the displacement of time and attention to the marriage by obsessive concerns with career or children.
And even though there may be some explosive precipitating event such as an affair revealed, most of the time there is severe erosion by the time of the discovery. So how does one tell that the erosion has brought the marriage to the point of divorce? The next time you are in a restaurant look for the sad couple eating dinner in silence. They make little or no eye contact and have little or no conversation. They are completely disengaged and are simply enduring the meal until they can finish and leave. That's a couple on the verge of divorce.
It may not happen soon and may not happen at all because there are couples who are held together by nothing but inertia and fear. But at least one or both of these unfortunates are thinking about divorce. There are six signals of impending divorce. There are probably many more but these are the big ones. No Conflict Resolution.
The noted researcher John Gotman has argues that it is not lack of communication that sinks a marriage but, rather, lack of effective conflict resolution. Couples who have not evolved a way to resolve differences without injury to the relationship end up avoiding disagreement and conflict.
One or both has arrived at a point of despair that it is pointless to try to resolve a difference with his/her mate. It may be that one or both are simply conflict avoidant.
Or one or both may regard every conflict as a fight to be won by bullying the other into submission. What matters is that someone has given up. Differences are submerged resulting in a loss of respect, increasing distance and gradual withdrawal. Emotional Disengagement. Emotional engagement is a minimum requirement for the development and maintenance of intimacy.
Willing discussion of feelings, one's own feelings and the other's feelings are a part. Interest in the emotional life of the other and empathic engagement of each other's emotional life all constitute the required elements for an intimate relationship. Disaffection. Emotional engagement is generally accompanied by the withdrawal of affection. If your wife has disengaged emotionally from you she probably doesn't feel much love for you. Divorcing people commonly say that "they have fallen out of love." And depending on how sour the relationship has become one or both probably don't like each other very much.
Lack of Sex. Sex both expresses and reinforces emotional connectedness. When a couple has not had sex in a long time it is usually a reliable indicator that emotional disengagement is advancing steadily. It is yet another indicator that the partners take no pleasure in each other and that the bonds are rapidly eroding if not already in a terminal state. Increased Focus outside the Marriage.
She’s Improving Health After Fans Worry – Hollywood Life. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt may be officially split up, but the stress from their breakup might still be lingering. A source close to her EXCLUSIVELY told Hollywood.
Life. com that it’s affecting her appetite. Not only is parting such sweet sorrow, it’s also such stressful sorrow, too. Independent Living Skills For Adults. Angelina Jolie, 4. Brad Pitt, 5. 3, may have caused all our hearts to break after the two broke up and filed for divorce, but the resulting anxiety over their split — and how it has reorganized their family structure — still lingers for the Malificent actress. A source EXCLUSIVELY gave us the deets on how Angelina’s post- marriage life has changed her diet and health. All of the stress really took a toll on Angelina, and her main focus now, aside from the kids, is getting her health back on track again,” our source said. Whenever she’s under stress, Angelina always loses her appetite, and unless she has someone by her side making sure she’s eating regularly, she has a tendency to skip meals and lose weight, which really isn’t good, as she’s so thin anyway.
Now that she’s finally feeling better emotionally though, she can start concentrating on her health again.”While there have been reports that Angelina might be planning her fourth wedding to a wealthy philanthropist, our source has set the record straight on whether or not wedding bells are in the future for Angelina. “Angelina has no plan, or desire, to get married again—her divorce from Brad isn’t even finalized yet—so God only knows where the wedding reports have come from,” the source added. The past year, following the split from Brad, has been monumentally stressful and challenging for Angelina, and she’s only now getting to the point where she feels she can breathe again.”We reported earlier how there’s some major tension between Brad and Angelina over how the two will divvy up time with their children over the holidays.
Check out the celebrities, including Angelina, who were allegedly sexually blackmailed by Harvey Weinstein, 6. Hollywood. Lifers, do you think Angelina’s stress levels will finally cool down, or do you think the holiday season will only amp them up?