Insurance can add tangle to property division during divorce

There are several property division decisions to be made during the divorce process. One issue related to property division that many divorcing couples may not immediately think of is regards whatever various insurance plans they might have. It's important to consider various items that could potentially affect how insurance issues are handled before, during, and after a Maryland divorce.

First, couples should be aware of how their divorce will affect whatever health insurance arrangements they currently have. Failing to inform an insurance carrier of a change in marital status could cause a health insurer to later drop the ex-spouse citing the matter as potential insurance fraud. COBRA -- a type of temporary health insurance -- may suffice to cover the divorced spouse for a period of time if they don't have another type of coverage. Divorcing spouses who each have health insurance plans will need to decide which plan any minor children will be placed on and how to divvy up any costs for that coverage.

Life insurance policies can add another knot to the insurance tangle in a Maryland divorce. There's more to consider than just the matter of taking a former spouse's name off the policy and changing to a different beneficiary. Often a life insurance policy is purchased for the spouse who is the primary wage earner. The other spouse is covered by a rider policy. This could mean that if the rider-covered spouse would need the other's consent to be dropped off the original policy, or to buy a new policy naming a different beneficiary. That could prove difficult if the policy-owning spouse wants to make things tough for the other.

Two other types of insurance that will need to be thought about during the divorce process are auto insurance and homeowners insurance. Each spouse will likely need to have their own policies, since they will no longer be living in the same residence.

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