Life Insurance and Divorce
Division of assets in a divorce can be a rather complicated business. Often couples disagree upon how to divide the marital estate; issues of ownership prior to the marriage are relevant, but not always easy to discern. Life insurance policies from a marriage are no exception. If you are filing for divorce, it is vital that you work with an experienced divorce lawyer in College Station who will fight to protect your interests.
A divorce lawyer in College Station on Life Insurance Policies as Community Property
As a divorce lawyer in College Station will tell you, basically any asset or debt obtained during the marriage becomes community property. This includes furniture, real estate, and liquid assets. An asset that is obtained prior to the marriage usually remains separate from the marital estate, however. Life insurance policies generally can be considered in this light as well. If an individual purchases a life insurance policy prior to the marriage, it remains separate upon divorce. This is true even though the spouse became the beneficiary of the policy.
A divorce lawyer in College Station on When Policies Are Community Property
A divorce lawyer in College Station can help you understand more clearly when a life insurance policy becomes part of the marital estate, but generally this occurs under the following provisions:
- When children are named in the policy, and the spouse is deemed trustee
- When the divorce decree specifically names the spouse as beneficiary
- When the owner of the policy designates the spouse as beneficiary subsequent to the divorce
A policy that was paid for with community assets becomes part of the marital estate. When the policyholder dies, 50% of the policy is paid to the former spouse, who also becomes subject to federal taxes for that portion. As a divorce lawyer in College Station will tell you, matters can become more complicated should a third party be named as a beneficiary. In such a case the surviving spouse may need to make a challenge in court.
Contact a divorce lawyer in College Station for Legal Assistance
If you have questions about life insurance and divorce, or need assistance with another family law matter, call a divorce lawyer in College Station at Peterson Law Group. We will provide you with compassionate, yet aggressive legal representation. Call 979-703-7014 to arrange an initial consultation.