Going through a major life change like divorce can leave you with questions about the many details that must be addressed. For example, how do you deal with your insurance policies when you get a divorce in Florida? With insurance plans covering your whole family, you’ll need to make your policies reflect your new marital status. Here are more things to know about dealing with your insurance in a divorce.
To get an overview of what needs to be changed, make a list of each policy that you have as a family. This includes health insurance, homeowners insurance, car insurance, life insurance and any other policies you have. Once you’ve compiled a list, you’ll know exactly what you need to address with your insurance agents, spouse, and divorce attorney.
Getting a divorce in Florida means that you’ll need to individually address each of the policies on the list you’ve compiled. Here are some steps that should be taken in regard to your specific types of insurance policies.
Health insurance can be difficult to deal with in a divorce, especially if you are a dependent. You will need to find different coverage if you’re covered by your ex-spouse’s plan (unless your divorce settlement includes coverage). Dependent children, however, can remain on a parent’s health insurance plan.
If covered by your ex-spouse’s workplace plan, you’ll be eligible for temporary continued coverage thanks to a federal law called COBRA. Under COBRA, you’ll be able to extend your health insurance coverage at your own cost for up to 36 months.
This can be pricey, so you may wish to seek other options. You can seek healthcare coverage through your employer or purchase your own policy. Visit www.healthcare.gov to learn more about marketplace options. You may be eligible for a plan under the Special Enrollment Period due to your divorce. You can also speak with a private health insurance agent for a plan outside of the marketplace.
The spouse who becomes the primary homeowner after a divorce in Florida will remain on the homeowner’s insurance policy. He or she will need to have the ex-spouse’s name removed. This can be done by simply contacting the insurance agent. When a house continues to be owned jointly, both names should be left on the insurance policy. This is true even if one spouse no longer resides there.
Your auto insurance policies will also need to be changed to avoid liability concerns. Be sure to notify your insurance agent of the divorce and any changes in an address before and after the divorce. Also, notify your agent of any changes in car ownership and designated drivers. If you have teens driving, make sure they’re covered properly. Depending on which cars they’re driving, they’ll probably need to be listed on both parents’ policies.
Another complicated aspect of getting a divorce in Florida is how life insurance plans are impacted. You will probably seek to change the beneficiary. However, that may not be possible if your life insurance is part of the divorce agreement. It may be included in the divorce decree as a way to protect any dependents from lost alimony or child support should the policyholder pass away. This area can become complicated, and lead to disputes. It is wise to speak with your divorce attorney about recent laws put in place in the state of Florida.
Dealing with changes in your insurance policies is just one of the many changes you’ll face when getting divorced in Florida. Be sure you’re working with an experienced divorce attorney to avoid unnecessary financial hardships and liability concerns. The attorneys at Parker & DuFresne in Jacksonville can help you navigate this major life change. Call us at 904-733-7766.
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