The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court has long taken into account, even ordered, the provision of life insurance to protect support recipients and dependents in the event of the death of the “payor” spouse. The amount of protective coverage is intended to correspond to the amount of each party’s obligation, an obligation that decreases over time.
At the Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution, attention is given to the amount of coverage needed and how it changes over time. Parties calculate the monetary value of individual obligations for child support and/or alimony, for extracurricular and extraordinary child-related expenses, for postsecondary education, for health insurance, and, in fact, for all financial obligations to which either spouse has a pledged liability.
Insurance brokers are often approached by the parties to compute the present-day value of pledged obligations after consideration of tax implications and adjustments taken over time. The agreement is intended to provide protective life insurance coverage in as cost-effective a manner as is available.
Alternatively, others choose to pledge assets as protective coverage, or use a combination of assets and insurance. The actual product or holding used to protect individual family members is similar to the strategies undertaken in marriage. Needs, after death, are considered, as well as the cost to secure this pledge. Need and cost are the variables to be weighed and determined by the parties in their effort to arrive at an equitable and workable agreement through mediation.