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How divorce affects your insurance

When a couple divorces, they have a lot to worry about - from dividing their assets to making decisions about the custody and care of their children - so how their divorce will affect insurance matters might be one of the last things on their minds. The following are some insurance concerns that anyone going through a divorce should consider.

Health insurance

When there are children involved in a divorce, generally the parent who has the best insurance coverage will put them on his or her policy. In addition, though, parents will need to make decisions about how to divide any of their children's medical expenses that are not covered through insurance. However, dealing with insurance for ex-spouses is another matter altogether. Ex-spouses are not allowed to be covered by their former husband's or wife's health insurance policy after the divorce is final. They will either need to purchase private insurance, get insurance through their own employer, or get coverage through COBRA.

Life insurance

In most cases, people name their spouse as the beneficiary of their life insurance, so after the divorce, they will need to make a decision about whether or not they change it. If a divorce is amicable and the couple's children are minors, it may be in everyone's best interest to keep the beneficiary designation as is until one of the exes remarries or the children become adults. In addition, the parent who is the primary caregiver for the child should consider getting a life insurance policy to take care of the children should something happen to him or her.

Social Security

Under some circumstances, an ex-spouse may receive half of his or her ex's Social Security benefits if that person is currently receiving Social Security payments. In order to be eligible, the ex-spouse must have been married for a least 10 years and the divorce must have occurred at least two years before applying for benefits. In addition, the ex-spouse must be at least 62 years old and unmarried.

Homeowner's insurance

If one of the ex-spouses plans to remain in the family home, it is best to try to get a new homeowner's insurance policy. In some cases - for example, if an ex is awarded a large amount of property from the home - it may be possible to get lower insurance premiums.

Know your rights

Many people going through a divorce will get moral support in order to cope with the emotional aftermath. It is equally important to get legal support. If you need guidance on matters related to your divorce, such as how to handle insurance, contact a qualified attorney who can help you with your case.