New Law: Life Insurance Can Be Spousal Support In Virginia
As of July 1st Virginia judges have the power to order a support-paying spouse to maintain an existing life insurance policy for the spouse receiving support. As reported in Virginia Lawyers Weekly, this new statute fills a gap in the law. Previously the court had authority only to order the support-paying spouse to maintain an existing life insurance policy for a spouse’s benefit during the pendency of the divorce case or for the benefit of the parties’ children post-divorce. Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s concern about what would occur if the payor spouse remarries caused remarriage to be listed as a “material change in circumstances” that could allow the court to relieve the payor of this obligation. The court may also consider other changes in circumstances. Furthermore, if the insurance is a benefit of the payor’s employment and the employer terminates the life insurance benefit, the payor cannot be found in contempt for failing to maintain the policy.