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Property division can include insurance policies

| Jun 13, 2013 | Divorce |

Dividing assets can be a complicated process for many divorcing couples in Illinois and elsewhere. Individuals may be unfamiliar with all of the many factors that play into divorce proceedings, and it can be difficult to anticipate how various aspects of one’s life might be effected by such a process. The significance of insurance policies is too often overlooked by people when they separate, leaving them unaware of opportunities and concerns that should be considered.   

A major issue for countless Americans is obtaining medical coverage. And for those at risk of losing health insurance benefits because of divorce, the concern is often great. In many instances, though, individuals can continue to be covered on their spouse’s plan through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), which typically allows people 36 months of insurance as long as they pay their premiums.

In addition to addressing health insurance needs, countless divorcing individuals may also benefit from disability and/or long term care insurance. Such coverage protects against sudden illness or injury, and can be especially beneficial for those without a reliable support system.

Even in instances where an individual is no longer living in the family home or using the family car, it’s incredibly important to ensure that there is no lapse in liability insurance coverage. Similarly, all liability insurance plans should be kept up-to-date and accurate until a person is able to remove their name from the deed.

Certain types of life insurance policies can be regarded as assets when dividing property. Therefore, an individual may be encouraged seek the value of their spouse’s policy during the settlement process. And everyone should be reminded to review their own policy upon divorce to ensure the appropriate beneficiary is identified. 

Source: FOX Business, “How to Uncouple Your Insurance in Divorce,” Michele Lerner, May 31, 2013

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