If there is no life insurance policy during the divorce, the typical plan is for the parent, or parents, to buy a 20-year plan if there are young children involved, and a 10-year plan if they are a bit older (11 and up). If there is a policy in place, then usually the owner is the one who is required to continue making payments.
In general, this decision is most often included in the final divorce decree, associated with the child support aspect of the decree. Here, the court can order a parent to provide life insurance in a set amount, with the child or children set as beneficiaries. In some instances, the court may order a parent to buy life insurance, and name the ex-spouse as beneficiary, as part of the alimony or spousal support aspect of the decree.
In most divorces, the noncustodial parent will be required to maintain or purchase a life insurance policy, if there are any minor children. This is because the noncustodial parent will most likely also be paying child support, which ties in the matter of insurance. If they were to pass away, the children will still need that support.