As part of an alimony obligation, a payor may be required to purchase life insurance to secure the award. In a recently decided case captioned Sager v. Sager the former husband appealed the final judgment. He argued that the trial court erred in requiring him to purchase life insurance to secure his alimony obligation. Husband and wife were married in 1982, and the former husband filed for divorce in 2016. Former husband was a mortgage broker and former wife was a teacher. The parties lived in the State of New Jersey for a large part of their marriage. The parties moved to the State of Florida and bought two houses. They used one as the marital home and used the other as a rental property. The former husband was 72 years old, and was retired. The former wife was 66 years of age. She did not have a college degree and was an early childhood teacher. She was also a substitute teacher in the summer. The trial court required the former husband to purchase a $250,000 life insurance policy to secure his alimony obligation to the former wife. The former husband appealed from the judgment requiring him to purchase the life insurance policy.
To secure alimony, the Florida Court of Appeal stated that trial courts may require that life insurance be purchased to secure alimony obligations when the trial courts make specific findings of fact that: (i) insurance is available for the payor, (ii) the payor has the ability to pay its cost, and (iii) that special circumstances warrant its purchase. Special circumstances that warrant the requirement that an obligor purchase life insurance include where the payee would be left in dire economic straits if the payor died, or where the payee is elderly, disabled, or has limited employment skills and the payor’s death would cause the payee to be dependent upon the generosity or welfare of others.
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