From figuring out who gets the house to dealing with custody issues, California couples going through a divorce typically have a lot on their plates. As a result, it's easy for other important matters, such as insurance, to be overlooked. While it's advisable for couples to review policies regularly, it's even more important to do so when a marriage ends. The two most common types of insurance that tend to become an issue due to divorce-related changes are health insurance and life insurance.
With health insurance, a non-income-earning spouse may be dependent on the other spouse's employer-based policy for coverage. If this is the case, they could sign up for COBRA benefits to receive up to three additional years of coverage on a spouse's plan. If a divorcing spouse does not have their own employer-sponsored health plan, another option is to consider what's available through the Affordable Care Act, which is income-based.
Life insurance can be an especially important consideration if one spouse will be seeking spousal support. For instance, if support stops because the paying spouse dies, payments could continue from the policy's payouts. In some situations, the higher-earning spouse is required to have life insurance as part of the divorce settlement's terms. Should this be the case, the recipient spouse may be urged to own the policy and make the premium payments. Doing so could prevent changes from being made or lapses in payments from occurring without their knowledge.
One of the first steps a divorce lawyer often takes when sorting through the various types of marital assets is to identify all existing insurance policies and financial accounts. It's generally better if insurance-related matters are taken care of before a divorce is finalized. This allows appropriate adjustments to the settlement agreement to be made should a spouse expected to make support payments be deemed uninsurable.