Insurance matters play into property division during divorce

During the midst of a Massachusetts divorce, there are a multitude of issues that must be addressed. Primary concerns are usually child custody arrangements as well as property division. However, taking the time to ensure that one’s insurance needs are adequately addressed can save a great deal of time, money and stress once the divorce papers are signed.

One major concern involves health insurance. Making changes to existing health insurance policies can have a negative effect on both sides. If one spouse is no longer required to keep their ex on their policy, failure to remove them in a timely manner can equate to insurance fraud. On the other hand, someone who did not expect to be dropped from an existing policy could be in store for a nasty surprise at their next medical appointment. These issues should be detailed within the divorce settlement or decree.

Another concern is life insurance. Many divorce agreements specify which party is required to maintain coverage, in what amount and for how long. Often this type of arrangement is made to ensure that alimony or child support obligations are covered in the event of death. However, it is important to keep an eye on these policies to make sure that the premiums remain paid and that the coverage is adjusted as needed (such as in the case of children who cross into adulthood.)

Even auto insurance can be addressed during the process of property division. It is important to remember that while insurance may not rank at the top of many Massachusetts residents’ divorce concerns, it is imperative that these issues be worked into the negotiations and addressed in the settlement. Doing so can make the transition into a newly single life much less stressful, and can allow both parties to focus on the future.

Source: Reuters, “YOUR MONEY-How to untangle your insurance plans in divorce,” Geoff Williams, Sept. 11, 2012

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