Details matter. This is especially true when the terms of a divorce are memorialized in an agreement or an order. Unfortunately, however, all too often there is reliance on “boiler plate” forms in which important details are sometimes overlooked or not considered.
For instance, when dealing with child support it is common that there will be the imposition of reasonable security to ensure that these obligations can be met. The most common means by which to achieve this is to require the maintenance of a reasonable life insurance policy. All too often, however, the verbiage in the agreement or order simply parrots boilerplate language that the insurance policy list the child (or children) as beneficiaries with the surviving parent to be named as the trustee. This means, however, that the surviving parent actually must establish a trust, at additional expense, in the event of the death of an insured parent during the period in which child support is payable.
Another solution may be to list the surviving parent as a custodian of the insurance proceeds for the child(ren)--provided that the insurance company in question recognizes such a designation. In other words, it is necessary to contact the insurance company before simply including this language in an agreement or order.
At Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP, we pay attention to detail. Contact a member of our family law team for more details if you have any questions about a divorce.