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Life Insurance to Provide Coverage
In Georgia, along with an order for child support, a family law court may order that one or both parents obtain life insurance in an amount sufficient to cover their child support obligation. Additionally, if a parent already maintains life insurance, the court may order that he or she continue to maintain life insurance until the child or children covered by the child support obligation reach the age or majority or until the child support order otherwise terminates. See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-34.
In case of emergency, life insurance could help cover the remaining child support that would not otherwise be paid.
Specifically, Georgia law regarding the maintenance of life insurance to satisfy a parent's child support obligation states:
(a) In any case before the court involving child support, the court may include in the order of support provision for life insurance on the life of either parent or the lives of both parents for the benefit of the minor children. The court may order either parent or both parents to obtain and maintain the life insurance.
O.C.G.A. § 19-6-34(a).
Generally, provisions addressing the maintenance of life insurance for child support purposes are found in the Marital Settlement Agreement entered into by both parents, the child Support Addendum and the presiding court's Final Order and Decree of Divorce. The amount of life insurance that must be procured by either the obligated parent or both parents may be set by the presiding court, or it may be mutually agreed to by both parents in the Settlement Agreement. Regardless of how the specific amount of life insurance is determined, the amount should be sufficient to provide for the minor children in the event of the parents' untimely passing. Examples of settlement agreement provisions concerning either parent obtaining or maintaining life insurance sufficient to satisfy their child support obligation are listed below.
"The children depend on the Mother for financial support, and therefore the Mother agrees to maintain a policy of insurance on her life, with a face amount of at least $100,000 for the benefit of the minor children. The policy shall be maintained for so long as at least one of the children is a minor or is otherwise entitled to support pursuant to this Agreement."
"The children depend on both of the parties for financial support, and therefore each party agrees to maintain a policy of insurance on his or her life, with a face amount of at least $100,000, for the benefit of the minor children. The policy shall be maintained for so long as at least one of the children is a minor or is otherwise entitled to support."
Although, as can be seen by reviewing the example settlement agreement provisions above, the life insurance is for the benefit of the minor child or children involved, normally the life insurance proceeds are held in trust by the other parent for the benefit of the minor children in the event of the insured parents death.
Another noteworthy fact concerning the maintenance of life insurance to cover child support obligations in Georgia is that the premium amounts paid by the parents may be listed on Georgia's Child Support Worksheet as a non-mandatory deviation. See O.C.G.A. § 19-6-34(b). To learn more about how the Life Insurance deviation may impact your child support obligation, or how taking advantage of the other non-mandatory deviations may impact your child support obligation, see our articles about these topics in our section on Georgia Child Support.