Court rules ex-wife had no interest in replacement insurance policy after lapse of marital term life policy, despite divorce award of half of marital policy
In Constance Hites v. AAA Insurance Co., the Court of Appeals reversed the trial judge and overturned his decision granting one-half of a $50,000.00 life insurance policy to the ex-wife of the owner of the policy. At the time of the divorce, the parties agreed that Constance Hites would own one-half of the term life policy on Dareell Means. That policy eventually lapsed but was replaced with a new policy naming Means' current wife as beneficiary. On Means' death, the ex-wife argued that pursuant to the divorce judgment, she was entitled to one-half of this "replacement" policy. The Court of Appeals ruled that under the explicit terms of the divorce judgment, Means was not obligated to maintain the original policy and Hites owned no interest in the replacement policy.