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North Carolina family lawyers report: Divorce insurance – Provider or provoker?

/// 09/10/2010

The insurance world is a complex mass of policy offerings providing coverage for everything from tangible goods, to businesses, to body parts to ideas. The list of insurable properties extends from the concrete to the abstract, is always expanding and has recently come to include divorces.


A North Carolina insurance firm recently announced its plan to provide individuals with insurance policies to protect against the financial impact of divorce. The company, SafeGuard Guaranty Corp., aims to provide financial assistance to cover the costs of separation, divorce and its aftermath.


According to SafeGuard’s WedLock product description, individuals purchase “units” of initial protection with payouts starting at $1,250 and reaching as high as $250,000. Policyholders pay $15.99 per month for each unit. Over time, the policies mature and offer payouts from $6,250 to $1,250,000. Safeguard explains, “you buy what your needs are and what your budget will allow but the big difference is that the coverage amount grows over time without any increase in your premium.”


The company even offers a divorce likelihood calculator, offering an analysis based on areas of an individual’s life such as race, parental marital status, level of education and spiritual beliefs. Again, referring to the company’s website, “WedLock Divorce Insurance will provide a financial safety net for those people unfortunate enough to be impacted by divorce.”


The Raleigh divorce lawyers of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt explain that knowledge of your options is the best way to prepare for a divorce. While purchasing divorce insurance prior to marriage may seem like a great way to set aside a fund that cannot be accessed by the other spouse, it may also not be available to the policyholder if a divorce never occurs.  Further, the fact that premiums will be paid on a monthly basis after marriage, raises issues of whether the policy will be marital property in some states, like North Carolina, and potentially the accumulated value of the insurance will be divisible between the spouses – a fact which would substantially diminish the value of the  insurance to the spouse making the purchase. Further, a divorce insurance policy may trigger conflicts regarding perceptions about commitment levels towards the marriage and feelings of resentment stemming from the self-serving interest of the policy.


Considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement (if already married) would produce more certain results.


Prenuptial agreements provide each party with a variety of options. Not only do they offer more variety in terms of asset protection in case a divorce is necessary, but they also offer estate-planning opportunities. These contracts can address retirement benefits, allocation of debt, alimony, household bills, credit card charges, procedures for filling tax returns and even estate planning issues, such as providing for children from prior relationships.


This protection can provide comfort to both parties: that in the event of a separation or divorce, each party is protected. Discussing a prenuptial agreement with your soon-to-be spouse can help settle issues that could become adversarial during a divorce. 


As marriage is a team effort, it should begin with a dual effort to ensure its success. Rather than looking into divorce insurance that could only benefit the policyholder, consider  an agreement that would work to meet the needs of each party. While it is important prior to marriage to acknowledge the possibility of a divorce, it is not necessarily a wise decision to begin a marriage with insurance dependent on the failure of  the marriage.


The North Carolina family attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt can help you prepare your prenuptial agreement so your assets will be protected, should a divorce occur. The highly respected attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt have dedicated their lives to helping couples plan and preserve their marriage and family, but are also dedicated to helping men and women in the divorce process obtain a favorable and equitable divorce.


GWH offers knowledge, skill and experience in the many areas of family law that is second to none.


To contact the family law attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt, call (866) 666-1491.


Gailor Wallis & Hunt

Divorce is tough, so are we.


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