If I am Awarded Alimony or Child Support, What Happens if my Ex-spouse Dies?
Jamie N. Berger is a Co-Founder of Jacobs Berger, LLC. Jamie practices exclusively in the area of family law. Jamie was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 2006 and is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Family Law Section.
In the unfortunate circumstance where your spouse or ex-spouse dies either in the process of divorce or afterwards, alimony, if it has been awarded, would cease to exist because alimony is dependent on the life of your spouse. But there are protections that can be put in place in an MSA or Marital Settlement Agreement that can protect that alimony obligation; specifically, we use life insurance policies. So we would put a life insurance policy in place if you are the recipient of alimony so that in the event that your spouse was to pass away, you would have that life insurance policy available to secure your alimony obligation. You would not get the direct payment anymore, but your alimony obligation would be secure.
What Happens with Child Support?
With respect to child support, there is a similar mechanism in place. We oftentimes put into a Marital Settlement Agreement, a life insurance component, so that in the event of either parent’s death, when there is child support or college costs that have to be taken into consideration, we have life insurance in place so that the children´s needs are met because at the end of the day we want to make sure that the children´s obligations and the children´s needs are taken care of in the unfortunate circumstances where one or both parents may pass away once a divorce has been finalized.