Texas family law requires that divorces affecting children take “the best interests of the child” into account.
Therefore, a divorce decree may require a parent to purchase and maintain life insurance in a particular amount for the benefit of the children. Commonly, the parent who is paying child support (Payor) will be required to buy and maintain the insurance on his or her life for the benefit of the minor children (or for as long as child support is due). This protects the children in the event that the parent dies prior to the child support obligation being paid and completed.
The order to purchase and maintain life insurance can also be made as “spousal support”. In that case, the order will generally be in effect for as long as spousal support is due.
In some circumstances, the obligation to maintain life insurance may extend beyond the child reaching majority, with the intent of covering the years that the child would potentially be attending college.
The life insurance requirement may be ordered by a judge or may be a provision that is negotiated when there is a settlement between the parties. It is a common provision in Texas. If there is such a provision in a decree which has been signed by a judge, it is not optional. It is a court order. Like other court orders, ignoring it can lead to further action in court against you for failure to abide by it. If you have been ordered to maintain such insurance, do so. If your ex has been ordered to maintain life insurance and s/he is not doing so, you can seek a legal consultation to determine your alternatives to enforce that provision in your decree.