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Naming a child beneficiary on a policy over a spouse?

Nise's picture

I want to know how many of your are in a situation where the step-child is named beneficiary on the Insurance Policy….we are in court right now…(home away from home it seems in custody/visitation/support issues) and trying to amend some things and our attorney asked if my SD, the 5 year old, is named beneficiary on my husband’s life insurance policy and if we wanted to write that into the plan…well my response was no she is not and no we do not…I guess my question is why would someone do this? If my husband dies, then she will get Social Security payments until she turns 18 or 22 if she attends college, which are more then she gets in child support right now anyway…but she is 5 years old…so more likely than not if she did get an insurance pay out, that money goes to her mother regardless…not in a trust….also, when men set this up with the court and re-marry, then they have to take out additional life insurance to cover the spouse b/c I’m sure it is VERY HARD to change the beneficiary from the child to a spouse once it is written in a court order…probably illegal to do so…I guess the way I see it…my household depends on my husbands income and we new wives would be the ones expected to cover his financial obligations that are outstanding i.e. mortgage, car loans, and any other debt outside of student loans….(side note…ladies you are NOT RESPONSIBLE for your husband’s student loans in the event of death…you’d be surprised how many people pay those off!)…I don’t know maybe it is selfish of me but I don’t get this as a practice! Are any of you in that situation?


Bobbi's picture

I am not married, but this is certainly something to think about if we ever do get married. Thank you.

Currently, my BF has his life insurance going to his sister for his daughter in the event of his death. He said he wanted to make sure there was no way his ex could get her hands on it. I'm not sure exactly how he set this up.

goldenlife's picture

Just FYI, in case anyone is ever in this situation (I am). Social Security benefits for a child whose parent has died, is only until they turn 18. It's 19 if they have not finished high school before their 18th birthday. You have to show proof they are still in school. Never through college though - that would be very nice!

Anonymous's picture

Have your brother name his sister as the owner of the policy. My mother used to be a funeral director. This is an old trick she ;earned from dealing with the insurance companies.If his siter owns the policy, it is hers, not his, not the daughters to decide who gets what. He can still make the payments.Right before my grandfather got sick, his no good wife left him. She was not my grandmother.My mother was smart enough to have him change everything over and name her as owner, not beneficiary. When he died, the good for nothing sos and so couldn't touch it! Even the funeral home said what a smart move it was.

Candice's picture

Nise, I would not put that in the parenting plan/court order to have a child named a beneficiary. You are right, the policy money goes to the parent of the child, not in a trust, and that in itself is a problem in my perspective.

My dh has a policy, and I am the beneficiary. If something were to happen to him, I would take a portion of the insurance pay out, and create a trust account for ss to receive when he reaches a certain age. You are absolutely correct in feeling the way you do b/c you are totally right about who the money goes to, and what you are responsible for as his widow.

Another good point is that once a stipulation is created in the parenting plan, it is very hard to change. Even if you want a separate policy to cover a name child as a beneficiary, you can do that w/o having it an "order".

Hope that helps you.

smof3's picture

My husband was such a push over during his divorce that their divorce decree states that ALL life insurance polices held by him MUST list his children (3) as sole beneficiaries. It has no stipulaiton aabout being null and void upon the children becoming of age . Technically the kids could sue me later in life should I stake claim to any policies.
I did not know this until after we married. I was and am still so angry. The ex wife periodically demands to see proof that the kids are still on all policies . I assisted him in paying off all of their marriage debt ( she declared bankruptcy before the divorce was final)
We live in my house,( he gave her the house free and clear which she and the new hubby sold ) he gives the kids over $ 2300 a month, the ex does not work .

And I am not allowed to have $ 10,000 or 15,000 to bury my husband should he die ?
I do plan on buying a policy myself when I can someday afford it .
This is an example of men getting railroaded by the system . He should have objected at the settlement hearing but was too guilt ridden about a failed marriage.

Nise's picture

That is just RIDICULOUS and the courts should be hiding their faces in SHAME! Do you have the option to purchase insurance through work via payroll deduction? That way you HAVE to be the beneficiary…also, I would see about mortgage protection insurance that will pay the house off in the event of death…if your name is on the house too that could make you the beneficiary by default…I’m not certain how this works exactly but it is worth consulting an attorney about…I mean COME ON…he is your HUSBAND and if the two of you don’t have kids…you won’t even be able to get Social Security benefits until you are of retirement age…another thing that I didn’t know was that an ex wife can get Social Security if she was married to the man for 10 years or more…even if it was 20 years ago! These laws are just sad!

Make a GREAT Day!

Candice's picture

This sounds pretty ridiculous to have the children named in every policy. This is a matter of bm being vindictive to dad. Can you go back to court to see if a judge will allow you to change this portion of the decree? One policy listing the children should be sufficient. I know it costs money to make this change, however, you might be able to do this through Superior or District Court clerk. For a small fee they can help you change divorce decrees/parenting plans. Then there is another fee to file, and there is a court date. There it should be just bm and dad presenting themselves to explain to the judge what changes they want without attorneys. I would start there to see if they can help.

Good luck, and sorry to hear of this..

Anonymous's picture

You may not have any worries. I am not a lawyer, but one the divorce decree is up, when the kids are emancipated, it should all go away.I would ask a lawyer, but after they are emancipated I do not see how your husband can be expected to pay for the policy.If anything should happen and the kids are grown and you are stuck with bills, I doubt a judge would order you to pay out. They may not even know where you are by then.

happy mom's picture

Are you saying that the court is requiring you guys to name the SD a beneficiary? The attorney probably asked you that to get facts down on paper to show the court what each individual has as far as assets. I don't think the attorney is suggesting you change the beneficiary if SD was not part of it. If he is he is wrong. You need to check how that is going to be in any importance to your case.

-happy mom

Nise's picture

I’m not certain…I think she was asking that b/c it is part of the standard form for Shared Parenting and that is typically what is done.

Make a GREAT Day!

smof3's picture

I am sure my husband could hire an attorney and try to change a decree that is over 7 yrs old but would probably lose as he has lost every other issue he has tried to fight for. We have already tried changing some of the other portions of the settlement that hurt us every year at income tax time . Attorneys are very costly and good fathers are really treated shabby here in Michigan having to bear the brunt of the deadbeat dads such as my ex .
Her attorney was very crafty and worded things so that there is gray areas throught out the judgement that very much benefit EX. To clairfy I can purchase life insurance on my husband but he can not do so without the kids being the benefactors. That's the part that irks me. I am not worried about being destitute shall he die as I said it is my house we live in and his name is not on it, also I make more money than him. It would just seem that a judge or attorney would have thought twice about some of the crazy things she got put in that decree.

Chani's picture

that was a good point about the kids being covered by social security. My husband put SS age 5 on his and the skid gets 40%. At the time, I thought it was alright because I work and make as much as he does. But I did not think about his/our debt I would have to pay off by myself.

Anonymous's picture

I know it urks us all that the ex gets to request that the kids get the insurance money. You need to read the fine print. On the insurance policies I have had through various companies, there are age restrictions. They would not pay out until the kids were 18 because they are considered minors until then. The agent himself said "leave a trusted person as beneficiary or leave a will. otherwise, the chldren may struggle growing up as they will not nor anyone else have acess to the money." I giggle everytime I remeber that. I laugh because she thinks she will get it!