Can my ex-spouse cash in a life insurance policy that she owns before our children, the beneficiaries, are legally adults?

My divorce decree states that I have to maintain a life insurance policy in the amount of $250,000. My ex-wife will be the owner and my children (ages 15 and 13 years old) will be the sole beneficiaries. No other beneficiaries can be listed. Can my wife cash in the policy for her use, or does she have to wait for the kids to be legally adults?

Marriage / Divorce, Life Insurance
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January 2018

Ultimately this will likely boil down to what the divorce decree states.  If she is the owner- the insurance company could accept instructions from her to cash in the policy.   This would only apply if you were buying a cash value life insurance policy.

If on the other hand you were buying Term Life Insurance. -this is likely the more cost effective way to go- and she is the owner - she could potentially cancel the policy. But there is no reason for her to do this if you are the one paying the premiums.

You questions states no other beneficiaries can be listed- but you will likely be able to list your kids as "contingent beneficiaries" unless the divorse decree specifically excludes this.  

This may end up being more of a divorce attorney question than FA question.


Best of Luck,



January 2018