In the event of a divorce, should the life insurance received by a spouse be shared?

At the time of the divorce comes the time to do the accounts. The distribution of property can be a problem since both spouses then claim part of the common heritage and disagreements often arise. It is therefore essential to be familiar with the rules that apply in this area in order to demand what is rightfully everyone’s. This is particularly the case for life insurance, when one of the spouses – designated in the beneficiary clause – has received the death capital of a contract during the marriage.

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Sarah, a reader currently in the process of divorce, therefore questions the experts of the “Grand rendez-vous de l’épargne” (Capital / Radio Patrimoine) to find out if she can recover part of the life insurance contract affected by her husband during that they were married. In summary, are the death benefits received by a spouse separate property or joint property? It is Stéphane Absolu, associate director at Pyxis Conseil, who is responsible for answering him.

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The specialist recalls, to begin with, that the fate of these sums “depends in the first place on the matrimonial regime”. Of course, the assumption is made that the life insurance policy was taken out by a third party. Within the framework of a legal community, that is to say reduced to acquests, “case law says that the death capital received by the spouse has the nature of own property”, slice Stéphane Absolu. Consequence: no reward is provided for the other spouse.

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On the other hand, in the universal community regime, “the capital received by the spouse has the nature of common property and enters into the community between the spouses”, specifies the specialist. Apart from this case, “if there is no marriage contract, Sarah’s husband disposes of the capital as he wishes”, concludes Stéphane Absolu.

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