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Getting divorced? Here’s what you should know about insurance

If you’re in the process of divorce, then there are multiple demands for your attention. You’re talking to your spouse about child custody and support, sorting through marital assets, and separating your finances. There’s a lot to manage, but don’t let insurance fall under your radar.

One area many divorcing couples overlook is life insurance. As a divorced woman, the challenges addressed by securing life insurance are two-fold. First and foremost, any existing policies will need to be adjusted to change beneficiaries and ensure the protection of child support or alimony payments. Secondly, you’ll need to consider the best kind of life insurance policy for your situation and how much coverage you’ll need moving forward.

Health insurance

If you don’t have your own health insurance and are covered by your spouse’s plan, then divorce will remove your status as a dependent on their policy. Below are some options for maintaining health coverage:

  • Buying your own policy.
  • Obtaining coverage through your employer, if they offer a health plan.
  • Paying for continued coverage through your former spouse’s plan. Through COBRA, people who lose access to health insurance through divorce can buy coverage for up to 36 months.

Life insurance

If you know that you will be paying child support and don’t have life insurance, then consider buying a policy and naming the other parent as beneficiary. This way, if you pass away, the proceeds can go toward the financial support of your children.

On the other hand, if you will not be financially obligated to your former spouse in any way after the divorce becomes final, make sure you remove them as a beneficiary on your existing life insurance policy, if you have one.

Car insurance

Notify your automobile insurer that you are getting divorced and remove your former spouse as a driver on your policy. If you don’t have your own policy, then get coverage immediately. If you have children of driving age, then ask your insurer whether they need to be listed on both parents’ policies.

Home insurance

Your home insurance policy should be in the name of the homeowner, so let your insurer know about the divorce. If you receive the marital home, then arrange to have your former spouse’s name taken off the policy. If you move to an apartment during the separation or after the divorce, then take out renter’s insurance to cover your belongings and protect you financially if anyone is injured on your property.

Dealing with insurance coverage can be difficult even if you’re not in the middle of a life-changing event like divorce, but make sure it receives the appropriate attention, so that you start your new life without worries with a better sense of security.

Jayson Lutzky is a New York lawyer handling both contested and uncontested divorces. He has helped thousands of highly satisfied clients over the past 35 years. If you are considering starting a divorce case or have already received papers regarding a divorce action, then set up an in-person consultation with Mr. Lutzky by calling 718-329-9500.

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