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Insurance matters merit strong focus in many divorces

With divorce, some of the most confounding problems may not be the product of a stubborn spouse. Even after you've reached resolutions regarding child custody, child support, property division and other sticking points commonly faced in the divorce settlement process, you may still be facing the issue of resolving your insurance situation.

Insurance comes in many forms -- including health, life, home and auto, among others -- and each type can present unique complications. Divorcing individuals in Florida and elsewhere need to be prepared for the challenges faced in each scenario, and this process should start before the divorce is finalized.

For example, health insurance coverage can change when married parties split after a divorce. As a result, one party may not have the luxury of maintaining health insurance coverage through an ex- spouse, or he or she may have a limited time frame to find a new policy. Without insurance offerings through an employer, the costs of this insurance could amount to several hundreds of dollars every month.

Life insurance, by contrast, can have the opposite problem: Some spouses may find it difficult to be freed from their current policy. Only the policy owner can release individuals from their coverage, and some difficult ex-spouses may refuse to do this after the divorce has been finalized. To avoid a problematic scenario, it's best to get the procedure of being released from your life insurance policy in writing as part of the settlement.

Other insurance regarding assets will generally follow the ownership of those assets after the divorce. Make sure you are proactive in reporting marital and location changes, as well as property ownership, to insurance companies after the divorce is finalized.

Source: Reuters, "How to untangle your insurance plans in divorce," Geoff Williams, Sept. 11, 2012

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