Is One Policy Just Like Another?

Husband and wife divorced. The divorce judgment required to name wife as an irrevocable beneficiary in the amount of $25,000 on “his life insurance policy.” He had an insurance policy in the amount of $150,000 with AAA at the time of the divorce. Five years later husband let the AAA policy lapse because he believed the premium payments were too high. Shortly after that he purchased another policy of life insurance from AAA. Five years later he died.

Wife asked the court to force husband’s girlfriend, the new beneficiary, to give her $25,000 of the new policy proceeds under the language of the judgment. The trial court ruled that the judgment of divorce required this. The court of Appeals reversed, holding that the exact language of the judgment of divorce referred to the policy that existed at the time of the divorce, not a new policy with the same insurance company.

If you have been divorced and have such an insurance provision (or any requirement that you be paid money in the future on assets like retirement accounts) please call us so that we can review your documents to make sure you will get what you are owed.

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