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David Pastrana, star of MTV's Nitro Circus, and daredevil motocross rider proposed to his girlfriend Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins on June 4. We certainly hope, given his dangerous profession, that David has plenty of insurance. Not that we would ever tempt fate by suggesting something; but we certainly hope that David has done the responsible thing and ensured that he has a robust life insurance policy to take care of his new bride, and any children which may spring from the happy union in case of the unthinkable.

If the worst were to come to pass, however, and the couple were in Ontario, the Family Law system would affect how the Life Insurance would be dealt with. The court can order an individual making a spousal, or custody support payment designate a person under their life insurance under section 34(1)(i) of the Family Law Act:

(i) requiring that a spouse who has a policy of life insurance as defined under the Insurance Act designate the other spouse or a child as the beneficiary irrevocably;

This allows life insurance to act as security for the support payments. If the person paying dies, their beneficiary will still be provided for by their life insurance. In Ontario, some courts have begun to order individuals to take out life insurance policies in order to secure their support payments. This was first done in the 1999 case Lackzo v. Lackzo. This precedent has been viewed favourably at the trial level, but has yet to be looked at by the court of appeal.

Life insurance is something that can become quite important during a divorce or separation in Ontario. In the end it might be more reckless and dangerous to ignore discussing such issues with your spouse than anything Mr. Pastrana does during his stunts.