My ex-husband has a life insurance policy against me – and jokes that he’ll be “suspect # 1” if I die. Besides haunt him, what can I do?

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Almost three years ago, I finally found the courage and strength to divorce my abusive firefighter husband after 15 years. Through the fire department he had and still maintains a substantial life insurance policy on me. We have no children and no financial obligations after the divorce.

He jokingly told me that the life insurance agent said he would be “suspect # 1” if I died suspiciously, but that he can continue to pay the premium and thus benefit if. I die before him. The idea that he is taking advantage of my death makes me furious, especially because of the way I have been treated by him!

Our divorce was relatively straightforward, the more complicated aspect being the qualified family relationship order for his firefighter’s pension. The QDRO secures my part of his retirement. I understand that if he dies after retirement, I will no longer receive retirement funds.

Now he could potentially benefit if I die first. Other than haunt him if that happens, what can I do to stop him from keeping this policy on me?

ex wife

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Dear ex-wife,

Contact your lawyer and, if you don’t feel safe, contact the police and consider an injunction. Taking out an insurance policy on you through his job at best seems highly unusual and at worst appears fraudulent. There shouldn’t be a policy on you without your knowledge. Either he’s overstepped the mark with his grim – perhaps even menacing – sense of humor or he’s crossed a legal line. Or both. Your lawyer will likely contact their human resources department and the insurance company.

“Taking out an insurance policy against you through his job at best seems very unusual and at worst appears fraudulent.”

This is a cautionary tale on how to deal with all life insurance contingencies – regarding beneficiaries of employer sponsored policies and spouses who purchase life insurance policies on top of each other – during divorce. Waving a life insurance policy in your face after your divorce is mean, brooding, and provocative – yes, the three Ps – and, at the very least, a strong motivation for you to lead a healthy lifestyle. Given his abusive past, know that these are also the last desperate cries of a tyrant.

As for the legal status of the policy: “You can take out a life insurance policy on your ex-spouse if there is an insurable interest such as alimony and / or child support and your ex is ‘undertakes to sign the request and go through the subscription, ” according to the law firm Stange. Often times, as part of the divorce settlement, a life insurance policy is negotiated before the divorce is finalized to ensure that child support and / or alimony is paid should something happen to the ex.”

“He’s either crossed the line with his dark – maybe even menacing – sense of humor or he’s crossed a legal line.” Or both.’

Remember that your ex-husband cannot purchase a life insurance policy without your consent and if he did, he was breaking the law. “When you buy life insurance, the person whose life will be insured must sign the application and give their consent. ” according to Northwestern Mutual. “Forging a signature on an application form is punishable by law. So the answer is no, you can’t buy life insurance on someone without telling them, they have to consent.

Examine the terms of your divorce to see if there was a provision to void life insurance policies held on top of each other. This assumes that you both accepted the policy while you were still married. Some policies can become void in the event of a divorce. Every life insurance policy is different. For example, military group life insurance is operated under federal law, which would likely replace state law and divorce judgments.

“One spouse has an insurable interest in another spouse. Thus, purchasing spousal life insurance is a very common practice.


– David Waltzer, lawyer based in New York

I asked your question to David Waltzer, a New York-based lawyer. In the event that this policy has been taken out legitimately and with your knowledge, he said, “One spouse has an insurable interest in another spouse. Thus, taking out an insurance policy on the life of a spouse is a very common practice. Even though the insurable interest changes after the policy is created, the policy is still in effect. An ex-spouse whose life is about the police has nothing to say. The place to get a result here would have been during divorce negotiations. “

Finally, if a person is convicted of a crime, he cannot profit financially from that crime. There are “Crime Junkie” podcasts, “Dateline” episodes and, of course, legal precedents to attest to it. (Suppose your husband laughs at you by relaying this joke. What kind of insurance agent makes such a comment? A bad comment.) As for your husband, try not to allow him to push your buttons. Abusive ex-spouses rarely go away quietly. Keep track of all communications.

You are divorced and he has no power over you now.

Are you a victim of domestic violence or coercive control? Call the National helpline on domestic violence at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org. Free of strives to establish financial security for survivors of domestic violence, and National Coalition Against Domestic Violence supports efforts to change the conditions that lead to domestic violence and coercive control. You can also learn more about creating a personalized safety plan. here.

The Argentist: My ex-wife is deceased. I am the beneficiary of his life insurance. Her family wants me to pay her funeral expenses and won’t leave me alone

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