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One of the questions people frequently ask is whether they can purchase life insurance on their ex-husband or wife. The answer is yes. It is possible to purchase a policy on your ex-spouse, especially if you both have mutual children.

If your ex were to die, this would leave you and your children with financial hardships. So, buying one would help you avoid such hardships.

People create a thousand reasons not to purchase an insurance policy, yet they cannot ignore the fact that one day everyone will undoubtedly die.  

In this post, we will provide you with tips on the way to purchase one with your spouse’s full knowledge.

Things to Consider First

Before you go ahead with the policy, here are a few points to take into consideration.

  • Your husband/wife might not want to give a hand.
  • You should purchase it with their full knowledge because the law does require so.
  • If they intend to help, then you should make things as easy as possible, so that they can actualize it.

Requirements of Buying Life Insurance on Your Ex-Husband or Wife

People usually take out life insurance policies on themselves in order to financially protect their loved ones after they pass away. They also buy policies on their ex-spouses, but they should meet the following requirements.


It is impossible to purchase a life insurance policy on someone without their consent since insurance companies require the insured person to do a medical exam. In other words, the insurer will want to know that you have the okay to do so when applying.

Even the type of policies whose requirements do not include doing a medical exam would require the insured’s signature.

The only time the assent is not required is when parents purchase a policy on their minor children.

If anyone manages to buy one on someone else without their assent, they are considered forger by law. It’s not easy to do so due to the legalities which are involved when someone applies for one.

For that reason, insurers develop many strategies to eliminate insurance fraud. Such strategies pave the way for insurance companies to verify the identity of every applicant and gain consent before moving forward with coverage.

The strategies include:

  • Application Question: When someone applies for a policy, the insurer asks them many questions including their full name, address, employer information, social security, and driver’s license numbers.
  • Signature: All insurers require the insured person’s signature.
  • Phone Interview: After the applicant submits their application, the insurer will contact them via phone to ensure the accuracy of their application.
  • Medical Test: The majority of life insurance companies require the insured to do a medical test upon applying for a policy.

Insurable Interest of Your Ex

Your ex’s insurable interest means that you will be affected in case your ex dies. In other words, you cannot purchase a policy on someone else if you won’t be financially affected in case they died.

The reason why insurance companies require the ex’s insurable interest is that the insured’s death won’t benefit the policyholder. Granting anyone the chance to buy a policy on someone else without their insurable interest will possibly harm them.

Let’s take an example.

A husband can take out a policy on his wife because his finances somehow affect his wife’s and vice versa.

However, the relationship between you and someone else does not mean you can purchase a policy on them. In order to get a policy on anyone, you first need to make sure that their death will negatively affect your finances.

All in all, before you apply for a policy on your ex, you need to prove that their finances can affect yours in case they died. No insurance company accepts your application in case you cannot prove so, and that should be accompanied by their consent.

Divorce Documents

Along with the two aforementioned requirements, you need to bring the documents proving your divorce when applying.

Your insurance company will require you to bring the official divorce documents as proof that you are separated before accepting your application.

Beneficiaries of the Policy

Chewing over your policy after divorce can be confusing. Yet, if you already have a life insurance policy that includes your ex-spouse as your beneficiary, they will still be your beneficiary even after you both break up.

But, if you intend to apply any changes on your beneficiary list, you can exclude them. However, your judge can decide whether you keep your ex-spouse as your beneficiary or not, especially if you both have a child/children.

Generally speaking, divorce doesn’t change the beneficiaries of a policyholder unless its decree stipulates to change it. As noted before, keeping your ex-spouse as your beneficiary can be deliberate by your judge, especially if you have kids.

It’s still argued that, unless the judge orders to exclude your ex-spouse as your policy’s beneficiary, they will remain so even after divorce.

Reasons You Need a Policy on Your Ex-Spouse

With divorce being associated with many financial duties such as child support, alimony, and lawyer fees, an insurance policy becomes a necessity because splitting with your spouse doesn’t just affect your wallet but also your whole life. That’s why it’s crucial to re-examine your policy needs and accordingly make changes fitting your new status, especially if you have children.

Here is why it’s important to have a policy on your ex.

Child Support Payments

‘Remember, one of the main reasons you purchased life insurance in the first place was to provide financial security for your immediate family,’ Feldman says.

If you both have at least one child, it’s important to think twice before the divorce. But, if divorce is the only solution left for you, then it’s more than important to protect your offspring financially so that they can go to school and college in the future and live a normal life. This is also important to make sure that payouts continue after you or your spouse die.

So, if your child is young and you don’t count on your ex’s financial abilities, you can take out an insurance policy, so that you guarantee your child’s ongoing financial protection.


Alimony is the money that a court orders someone to pay to their ex-spouse after their marriage ends. So, if your ex is your child’s caretaker, they need proper policy coverage, too.

After you both decide to split, the judge will order alimony to be secured for the child’s caretaker to compensate the child and their caretaker (ex-spouse). That’s why it’s wise to take out a policy, so it makes everything easy for both of you.

To sum up, if the court orders support payments to be made over a specific period of time, say 14 years, experts recommend taking out a term insurance policy which includes fixed premiums for the same time period as the support payments.

Parties Involved in the Policy

There must be 4 parties involved in the policy purchased on your ex-spouse.

The person to be insured

When talking about the to-be-insured individual, we refer to the person covered by the policy. In this case, the insured is your ex-spouse.

The policy owner

The policy owner is the only person who is allowed to apply any changes to the policy. For instance, if they would like to change the beneficiary or cancel the policy, they are given the okay by law and the insurer.

The policy payer

As the sub-headline suggests, the payer is the person responsible for making premium payments. The payer can be independent of the insured and the owner.

However, some people want to be both the payer and the owner of the policy in order to make sure that the owner cannot apply any changes to the policy, especially if the policy was taken out on your ex-spouse.

The beneficiary

There are 2 kinds of beneficiaries: primary and secondary.

  1. Primary: the first person/s to whom the death benefits are paid out in case the insured died.
  2. Secondary: the person who will receive the death benefits in case the insured and the primary beneficiary passes away.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

Question 1: Can I still receive life insurance benefits on my ex?

Normally, life insurance policy benefits are received by a specified beneficiary, regardless of their marital status. However, there are some situations wherein an ex-spouse can be eligible to receive the policy benefits even if they are not listed on the policy as a beneficiary. For example, if the couple has a child, its caretaker can receive insurance benefits.

Question 2: Can divorce decree override an already specified beneficiary?

Generally speaking, divorce doesn’t usually affect a named beneficiary unless its decree stipulates otherwise. As mentioned earlier, keeping your ex as your beneficiary is a good idea. Also, the accounts of retirement will figure into the settlements of divorce, which is also great.

Question 3: I’m a divorced mother of three kids. Can I take out a policy on my ex-husband without his consent?

No. It is impossible to take out a policy on your ex-husband without his consent. The insurance company will require three things: your ex-husband’s consent, his insurable interest, and the divorce documents.

If he pays child support for your kids, then you logically have an insurable interest in him, which means that his finances can affect yours. Thus, you have the right to take out a policy on him after his consent.

Question 4: How long can I stay on my ex-husband’s insurance after we divorce?

After divorce, you are eligible to still receive your coverage by law. If your ex-spouse has a policy through his employer whose employees are at least 20, the law gives you the right to benefit from his plan for 36 months at the most.

Question 5: Can I exclude my spouse from my insurance coverage in case we split?

A lot of plans don’t allow customers to exclude their spouses immediately after divorce without an official court order which includes a guarantee that the to-be-removed spouse receives coverage under a different policy. Anyway, removing your ex-spouse won’t be an option for you.


Protecting your kids financially always helps them stay safe even if their parents are separated. So, make sure you take out a policy on your ex before it’s too late. It’s legal, but don’t forget to get their okay.