When Can I Remove My Ex As Beneficiary To My Life Insurance Policy?

Ask a Lawyer


After I divorced many years ago, my decree stated that I had to carry a life insurance policy naming my ex as the beneficiary.

However, our children are now adults and my ex and I have both been remarried for more than five years.

How difficult is it to amend a divorce decree so that my ex-wife is no longer the sole beneficiary on my life insurance?

life insurance
Virginia divorce attorney Rebecca DeVincent


Without seeing the specific provision of your final decree of divorce requiring that your ex-wife be listed as the sole beneficiary of your life insurance policy, it is difficult to advise you on the likelihood and ease of modifying that provision.

Each state has different laws about beneficiary designations and the ability for courts to modify provisions in a divorce decree.

For example, in Virginia where I practice, the court loses authority to make certain modifications to divorce decrees if the parties entered into an agreement to resolve the specific issue on their own.

I encourage you to speak with an attorney licensed in your state about this issue to see how your jurisdiction handles life insurance and decree modifications.

If your settlement agreement does not state that you shall maintain the life insurance policy and beneficiary designation until your duty of support or other obligations under the decree terminate, then you may be unable to modify that provision.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney in Virginia, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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