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Interplay Between Life Insurance and Child Support Obligations in Divorce

The parties responsible for paying child support may or may not already have life insurance.

Life insurance can be important in the event one or both of the parties may meet an untimely death and their estates may not have sufficient funds to meet current and future child support needs and other related obligations.

Pursuant to a Marital Settlement Agreement or Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, there can be provision for maintaining and/or increasing life insurance coverage, as well as new policies being taken up while the parties are insurable. Therefore, in an event of an untimely death and in the event estate assets are insufficient, life insurance proceeds can be utilized to take care of future child support obligations.

If so, there should be provision in the Marital Settlement Agreement and/or the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage in regard to what happens to the insurance proceeds upon death, not to mention how insurance proceeds are to be maintained in a trust or otherwise and what happens to any remaining insurance proceeds once all unpaid child support and related obligations have been met.


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In dividing property, the Illinois court considers all relevant factors including the contribution of each party to the value of the property, particularly the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker, the value of the property distributed to each spouse, the length of the marriage, the financial situation of each spouse when the property is divided, (such as the need to give the family home to the spouse who has custody of the children), any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage of either party, the age, health, station, occupation, income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties, the custody of any children, and the reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
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