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How to Handle Insurance Issues After a Divorce

When a spouse files for divorce, there are myriad issues both parties must consider throughout the process. Not surprisingly, it can be difficult for a divorcing spouse to ensure all of his or her bases are covered. In such situations, an experienced divorce attorney will be able to guide the party through the difficult transition.

One area that is often overlooked in the midst of divorce proceedings is insurance. As a married couple, most people have a variety of insurance policies held jointly, including health, auto, home and life insurance. Following a divorce, each spouse will likely wish to maintain coverage in each of those areas.

Health insurance can be a big concern for divorcing couples. Often, couples choose one spouse's health insurance plan for coverage for the entire family. When the couple divorces, while the children may remain on the plan, the other spouse may not. To ease into the transition, however, the spouse is eligible for temporary coverage through COBRA. In addition, if one parent continues to cover the children's health insurance costs, it may be necessary to determine a shared payment plan.

As for auto and homeowner's insurance, typically a spouse who applies for individual coverage after a divorce will see a drop in his or her rates. For instance, if the couple had car insurance for two vehicles, most likely one spouse will need coverage for only one vehicle.

Life insurance can be particularly complicated after a divorce, as one spouse is typically considered the owner of the policy, and thus makes all of the decisions related to the policy. After a divorce, it is important to consider the beneficiaries to the policy and whether either spouse needs to invest in a new policy.

Source: Reuters, "How to untangle your insurance plans in divorce," Geoff Williams, September 11, 2012.

For more information, please visit our Utah divorce asset division page.

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