Can Your Spouse Get Life Insurance in a Divorce?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Understanding Life Insurance in Divorce Cases

In a divorce, obtaining life insurance is possible and sometimes necessary. This often arises from a court decree mandating life insurance to ensure financial protection, typically for child support or alimony commitments.

Key Considerations for Obtaining Life Insurance During Divorce

  1. Court Order Requirements: A divorce decree can stipulate the need for life insurance. This legally binding order makes the need for insurance clear and undeniable.
  2. Underwriting Guidelines: Like any life insurance application, the process involves underwriting guidelines. These guidelines assess the risk based on the applicant’s medical history and lifestyle.
  3. Medical History Impact: The insured’s medical history plays a significant role. It can affect the terms of the policy, including premiums and coverage limits.
  4. Documentation Necessity: When applying for life insurance per a divorce decree, providing court order documents is essential. This proves the requirement for coverage.
  5. Substandard Market Option: For those who face challenges in standard markets due to medical history or other factors, the substandard market offers an alternative. This market can provide policies with less stringent underwriting, sometimes offering coverage within 24 hours without a medical exam.

Comparing Standard and Substandard Insurance Markets

CriteriaStandard MarketSubstandard Market
Underwriting ProcessComprehensive, including medical historyLess stringent, often no medical exam
Approval TimeVaries, usually longerOften within 24 hours
PremiumsBased on risk assessmentGenerally higher due to increased risk
Coverage OptionsBroad rangeMay have limitations
Ideal ForIndividuals with good to average healthIndividuals with complex medical histories or urgent need


Obtaining life insurance as part of a court decree is feasible in a divorce. The process involves standard underwriting procedures, with medical history being a crucial factor. Alternatively, the substandard market provides a quicker solution, albeit often at higher costs and with potential coverage limitations. This information equips you to navigate the complexities of life insurance in the context of divorce.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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