In Illinois now, we have a provision where typically these spousal support payments do terminate when the paying spouse dies, but it can be secured now and by court order. It can be secured with a life insurance policy. That’s really an important provision because, historically, if some tragedy were to occur to the party who’s paying, it would leave the recipient totally unprotected. We’re seeing much more frequently now with this new provision that maintenance awards are protected with a life insurance requirement. Absent that statute, there wasn’t historically an insurable interest in the party who’s paying and it was difficult to obtain life insurance to secure the obligation. But this new provision has really helped us in terms of protecting the recipient.
On the disability side, that’s a little bit trickier. If it can be negotiated so there’s some kind of disability coverage and that can be incorporated into a divorce decree, that can many times make sense for the party who’s on the receiving side, but absent that, generally speaking the court is not going to be ordering some kind of disability provision.
Chuck Roberts is a family lawyer at Momkus McCluskey Roberts, LLC, one of the largest law firms in DuPage County, Illinois.