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Can one's ex be the life insurance beneficiary after divorce?

Many married couples have life insurance to protect themselves in the event one of the spouses should pass away. Most of the time the beneficiary named on the policy is the other spouse. What happens if the couple gets divorced? In Texas, is it possible for the former spouse to still be the beneficiary after divorce?

Many would expect that when a couple gets divorced that one former spouse would no longer be expected to benefit from the death of the other, so the beneficiary listed on any life insurance policy would be changed. This is not always the case, however. When a couple has been married, two lives have become intertwined. There are often businesses or investments owned together or children that are shared. Having each other named as the beneficiaries of life insurance policies may be necessary to protect these mutual interests even though the marriage is dissolved.

The presence of life insurance is especially important when a couple has children together. If the parent that provides child support should pass away without insurance, the other parent would be left to provide for the children on his or her own. This could create a significant financial hardship on the remaining parent and the children. It could be equally as difficult if the parent that was receiving child support passed away because, although there would be no child support to pay, the remaining parent would have the sole financial and custodial burden of the children. There would likely be additional financial burden due to the need for child care and possibly lost work due to parenting obligations.

While it is not mandatory that the ex-spouse be named beneficiary of a life insurance policy, it is certainly possible and not completely uncommon to do so. Even though the marriage is dissolved, shared lives will still continue to have shared interests. In order to protect one's interests and make sure all actions are in keeping with Texas law, it is best to discuss all assets, including insurance policies, with one's divorce attorney.

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