Alimony – Wellington, FL – Requirement to Purchase Life Insurance

In making an award of alimony, the amount of life insurance ordered must be related to the support obligation. It is error for a court to order a party to purchase a life insurance policy that is greater in value than the support obligation.

In Packo v. Packo the Florida Court of Appeal stated that: “A trial court has the power to order any party responsible for payment of alimony to ‘purchase or maintain a life insurance policy or a bond’ to the extent necessary to protect the award.”§61.08, Fla. Stat.; see also Foster v. Foster, 83 So. 3d 747, 748 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011). 

This obligation, however, must be supported by specific evidentiary findings regarding the availability and cost of insurance, the obligor’s ability to pay, and the special circumstances that warrant the requirement for security of the obligation.’ Foster, 83 So. 3d at 748 (citing Kotlarz v. Kotlarz, 21 So. 3d 892, 893 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009)). A trial court’s failure to make the required findings constitutes reversible error. Id. (citing Schoditsch v. Schoditsch, 888 So. 2d 709 (Fla. 1st DCA 2004)). Additionally, the amount of insurance ordered must be related to the support obligation; thus, it is error for a court to order a party to purchase a life insurance policy that is greater in value than the support obligation. Id. at 748-49 (citing Burnham v. Burnham, 884 So. 2d 390,392 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004)).

Here, the life insurance requirement of the final judgment provides as follows: The Husband shall be required to maintain a $500,000.00 life insurance policy, naming the Wife as the sole and irrevocable beneficiary, as security for his alimony and child support obligations. This shall be in effect within thirty (30) days of the date of this Final Judgment with written proof given to the Wife also within thirty (30) days of the date of this Final Judgment. This language does not include the detailed findings needed to support its purpose. Accordingly, we also reverse and remand for the trial court to reconsider the life insurance obligation and, if applicable, make the necessary findings to support such an obligation.”

To speak with an alimony attorney in Wellington, FL, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.

Archives

FindLaw Network