Arlington, VA asked in Divorce for Maryland

Q: Married 18 years wife makes more that me I have a life insurance and 401. Will I lose this in a divorce

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jac E. Knust
Jac E. Knust
  • Columbia, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Life insurance generally comes in two different forms. Number one: term inurance has no cash value -often times an employer provides thisas a benefit to employees. You can name anybody you want as a beneficiary and it does not have to be your wife generally speaking.

Another type of insurance is whole life insurance which typically has a cash value. If this was purchased during the marriage then the cash value of the insurance is marital property which is subject to a marital award. You may or may not be able to change the beneficiary of the insurance now depending on the terms of the policy.

Your 401 k is typically marital property as well. Assuming all of this was earned during the marriage all of it is marital property subject to a marital award issued by the court. Generally speaking when parties negotiate a separation agreement they contemplate splitting the marital property of all of the parties on a 50-50 basis. It doesn’t have to be done this way and this is a point of negotiation.

Nyasha A. West agrees with this answer

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