Insurance considerations in divorce

An important part of divorce involves planning. Essentially asking (and answering) questions about where to live next, how to support oneself on one salary, whether additional financial support is needed, and how to maintain strong relationships with children.

While these are only a sampling of the potential questions potential divorcees may ask, they often ignore the question of insurance coverage until feelings have boiled over (into a contentious state where no discussions take place) or until coverage has lapsed and someone is left with an absurdly large insurance bill.

Fortunately, both of these scenarios are avoidable. The following pointers can help in facilitating a smooth transition.

Medical insurance - Couples, if they are employed, will usually maintain their own health insurance after the split. However, there are some situations where a party will be allowed to stay on an insurance policy for a certain amount of time after the divorce (or be offered COBRA coverage).

With regard to children, parents must maintain coverage for kids as a matter of law. While there may be some rancor over which coverage is chosen, the parent with the most beneficial coverage will usually retain the kids under that policy.

Life insurance - In accord with child support obligations, parents ordered to pay support are required to maintain life insurance policies for the benefit of their minor children. Parents may choose to leave their ex as a beneficiary (if they still have the legal right to make decisions for the kids) or they can create a trust (with a designated trustee) who can manage the money to be held for the children.

If you have further questions about post-divorce insurance issues, an experienced attorney can help.

Source:, Split Time: Kids, Custody and Insurance, December 6, 2012

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