Health and life insurance: What divorcing spouses need to know

As a result of getting divorced, spouses may no longer have medical insurance or be listed as a beneficiary on their ex-spouse’s life insurance policy.

The divorce process in Arkansas can be emotionally and financially trying for many couples. Not only do spouses have to worry about legal issues relating to child custody and property division, but they also face losing their medical insurance and no longer being listed as a beneficiary on their future ex-spouse's life insurance policy. However, spouses who are aware of what changes will occur relating to their health and life insurance policies can properly prepare for this uncertain phase in their life.

Health insurance

Many spouses wonder if they will be able to stay on their partner's health insurance plan once their divorce is finalized. According to Forbes, this is not possible. However, divorcing parents can have their children remain on this same insurance plan.

After the marriage dissolution process is complete, former spouses can qualify for COBRA continuation healthcare coverage to continue receiving medical insurance. According to the Employee Benefits Security Administration, divorcing spouses must elect to acquire this coverage within 60 days after the date that they lose coverage under their former medical plan as a result of divorce. Divorcing spouses should also keep in mind that COBRA coverage is only a temporary solution to their current lack of medical insurance. The EBSA states that this coverage is only available for a period of 18 or 36 months.

Life insurance

According to Forbes, those with a life insurance policy can only remove their spouse or former spouse as a beneficiary if the divorce process has not yet commenced or if the divorce has been finalized. However, spouses who wish to remove their partner as a beneficiary during the divorce process may be unable to do so because life insurance policies are often used to secure alimony and child support payments. For instance, if an ex-husband is required to make child support payments, the court may also require him to maintain his life insurance policy as a way to guarantee that he will make these payments.

Spouses who make less than their future ex-spouse should consider purchasing a life insurance policy on their future ex-spouse and list themselves as the owner of the policy and the beneficiary to secure court-ordered divorce settlement payment relating to child support or alimony. However, according to Forbes, this should be done before the divorce is finalized.

How an attorney can help

In addition to concerns about their health and life insurance policies, many divorcing spouses in Arkansas worry about how they will maintain their standard of living and cover all of their expenses on one income. If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, speak with an attorney in your area to find out how you can protect your financial interests during the process.

Keywords: divorce, insurance, policy