Bronx woman found to have the right to inherit her late ex-husband’s life insurance policy, as reported in an article published in the New York Law Journal on October 30, 2012.

Although the woman was unable to produce a marriage license and the deceased man’s death certificate listed him as divorced, the judge ruled that the man did not follow the correct insurance steps.

The woman was awarded $500,000 from her ex-husband’s life insurance policy. The court reasoned that the insurance company did not raise a triable issue that justified their challenge of her entitlement to the policy funds.

The couple was married in 2000 in New York under the traditional African Muslim wedding guidelines however they never received a marriage license. During the course of the couple’s marriage they had twin girls. After the birth of their daughters the ex-husband took out an insurance policy and made the woman the beneficiary.

In 2004 the couple separated and established separated residences. The judge reasoned that the state did not have any records showing the couple was divorced or had attempted to receive a separation order. The judge further stated that the failure to obtain a marriage license is does not make the marriage null in the New York court’s eyes. Based on the fact that the insurance company could not produce any evidence to demonstrate that the couple received a divorce, therefore the woman was entitled to the insurance funds.

Jayson Lutzky has been a practicing New York attorney for over 29 years. He is experienced in getting the best results for his clients who are facing family law issues such as divorces, child custody, and child support issues. If you are facing a family law issue, then contact our law office or visit our website at for a free initial consultation or call 1-800-660-LAWYER or 1-800-660-5299.