Upon the man’s passing away in 2008, his ex-wife received more than $124,000 worth of life insurance benefits. This transfer led to a lawsuit headed by the man’s new wife, who believed that the benefits were rightfully hers.
Due to the discrepancy between Virginia law, which withdraws benefits from an ex-spouse following divorce, and federal law, which was what governed the life insurance plan, the case had to be taken to the Supreme Court.
Most mistakes made during the divorce process will not cause consequences so complicated that they reach the Supreme Court, but the principle behind tying up all loose ends in a divorce remains the same: Regardless of how comprehensive the divorce agreement is, there are yet other contracts and obligations that must be reviewed to ensure smooth transitions in forthcoming life changes. Unfortunately this beneficiary case, which could have been avoided by a preemptively thorough consultation, was instead forced to go through an arduous and time-consuming legal process.
The point is, what may appear now to be a tiny bit of negligence or some other non-issue can become a snowball effect and lead to huge problems for both ex-spouses, their remarriages, and their children. That is why you need legal counsel on your side.
Smith Strong, PLC is available to guide you through your complex divorce settlement and perform a careful assessment of your options for now and the future. With offices in Richmond and Williamsburg, Virginia, our Virginia family law firm is ready to take your call about any family law issues you may be facing, including divorce, custody and support matters. You are also welcome to request a free copy of our Founder H. Van Smith’s latest book, The Ultimate Guide to Divorce & Custody in Virginia: Quickly Get Back to Fully Living Your Life, emailed to you instantly.
Call us today at 804-325-1245 or 757-941-4298 to schedule a SMARTSTART comprehensive case preparation meeting.