In a case with minor children, the court will require both parties to secure a life insurance policies naming the children as the beneficiaries and the other spouse the trustee of this policy. The point is to secure future payments of child support. If one parent dies, then the other parent would obviously not receive child support for the benefit of the children. The life insurance proceeds are paid to the other spouse who has a fiduciary obligation to use the money for the benefit of the children. It is therefore used for the children as if it were child support paid in one lump sum. Most of the time both parents, regardless of who is the one receiving child support, should get a life insurance policy for the benefit of the children.
Similarly, life insurance policies are sometimes also required for the payor spouse to secure future payments of alimony.