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Health insurance plays into property division

Having solid health insurance coverage is an important consideration for many Massachusetts spouses who are considering filing for divorce. In most cases, spouses who are covered under their partner's employment benefits will lose that coverage once their divorce is made final. In these scenarios, it is important that the cost of obtaining new coverage plays a role in the property division portion of the divorce process.

If and when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is fully up and running, many people may be able to access health care at rates that they can work into their budget. This may give some the ability to move forward with a divorce filing. For those who have postponed divorce for a long time, the ACA may come as a welcome relief.

There is no need to wait for the ACA to factor into one's decision to divorce, however. By including the cost of health insurance into the property division negotiations, spouses can ensure that they have the financial means to purchase their own insurance coverage. It is possible to negotiate a settlement that either nets more in spousal support, or gives a greater share of assets that can offset the cost of buying insurance.

As with all other matters surrounding a Massachusetts divorce, being fully informed about the manner in which divorce will affect one's health coverage is important. Spouses who are aware of the ramifications of various settlement options are better prepared to make wise negotiating decisions. Divorce is a new beginning, as much as it is an end. Property division is best viewed as the process of building a strong foundation for that new beginning.

Source: Washington Times Communities, Divorce could be side effect of Obamacare's healthcare reform, Myra Fleischer Myra, Oct. 7, 2013

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