Important Facts

Can I Buy a Life Insurance Policy on My Child’s Mother or Father?

Even if you are not married, your child may depend on both parents for financial support. How do you protect your child's financial future if you are a divided family? In this situation it is important to understand what insurable interest means. 

Understanding Insurable Interest

If you're wondering if you can purchase a life insurance policy on your ex-spouse, or your child's mother or father, the short answer is yes. As long as you can demonstrate an “insurable interest” on an individual, you can generally purchase a life insurance policy on them.

Having an insurable interest means you stand to suffer a serious financial loss in the event of someone's death. It can be demonstrated in the case of an ex-spouse or co-parent because you or your children would be deprived of future alimony or child support payments if your ex-spouse or co-parent were to pass away suddenly.

However, purchasing a policy on your ex-spouse or partner requires their knowledge and cooperation. It's also when things can get complicated. If your relationship with your ex is less than ideal, or that person is simply not as invested in your welfare or that of their child's, it might be difficult to convince them into meeting the terms necessary for life insurance coverage.

The subject of who should pay for the premiums on a life insurance policy can also be problematic. If your ex doesn't feel that he or she should be obligated to make the premium payments by themselves, you may want to suggest that you split the cost of the premiums down the middle. If you're worried that co-managing the policy might involve too much haggling, or become too stressful, perhaps it's best to just make the premium payments on your own.

Sometimes a divorce settlement may require the non-custodial parent to take out a life insurance policy on themselves. And if they fail to purchase or maintain a policy, they can be held in violation of the law. If you are in the middle of divorce proceedings, be sure to discuss adding such a stipulation to your divorce settlement with your divorce attorney. Getting this matter settled in divorce court can be more effective than pursuing the matter on your own and after the fact. In the event that you and your child's parent were never married, and that person refuses to comply with your efforts to obtain a life insurance policy in their name, they may be legally mandated into doing so by a court of law.

Get the support you need

Navigating a divided family can be both emotionally and financially difficult. If you feel that you or your children are in need of monetary support, then discuss the best way for you to get the help you need with your attorney. That help and financial security may come in the form of a life insurance policy.

If you would like additional information about the differences between alimony and child support, or more tips for sorting out life insurance after divorce, be sure to visit our Protective Learning Center.

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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax‐related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit

Life Insurance Policy

A divided family can be emotionally and financially challenging. If you're wondering if you can purchase a life insurance policy on your ex-spouse, or your child's mother or father, in order to better support yourself and your child, this article may be able to help you better understand what it means to have an insurable interest. For more information, visit the Protective Life Learning Center.