insurance issues may be complicated and largely a negotiatiable issue for lawyers but you need to be actively involved to protect yourself and anyone who depends upon you.
What're some insurance pitfalls to negotiate as you prepare for divorce?
Did you know that your life insurance policy could still cover your spouse even if you two are divorced and no longer a part of each other’s lives? Life Insurance policies are loaded with fine print. When it comes to divorce, you don’t want to ignore life insurance decisions because you may end up losing more than you bargained for.
Be aware that life insurance laws are different in every state. You need to find out how the law applies to your case because you may find yourself faced with some very expensive complications. If you've a good attorney, you should be able to protect yourself but do your research also. This way you'll be educated when these matters are discussed and can stand up for your rights.
Does your life insurance policy pay out a lot of money? If so, you need to make sure you know exactly what it's that you're signing and how the terms apply. In the case of a pending divorce, talk to your attorney and your insurance agent right away to arrange to have your spouse taken off your policy as soon as the papers are filed.
Some states make life insurance policies invalid as soon as the divorce goes through. Other states require you to replace your policy or make changes in the policy. You can take your ex off and place your children or others on the policy as the beneficiary. Changing your beneficiary isn't difficult and can be done within minutes.
You need to legally determine who'll be paying the premiums. If your husband is to pay, he can stop paying or cash in the policy and leave you with nothing unless life insurance is a negotiated part of the divorce settlement.
To protect the children, make sure that your divorce settlement states that the children are to be kept as the beneficiary and make sure that your spouse shows proof of it each year. If your spouse allows the policy to lapse, your ex may not have to reinstate the policy unless ordered by the court. Get it in writing before the divorce is finalized!
If you'd like only your children to benefit financially from your life insurance policy, you'll want to open a trust fund and then name the trust as the beneficiary and name a trustee to manage the proceeds. Many banks offer this service. This way your ex will never get parental control over any of the money left to your children should you die before they're of legal age.
You can also block your children from giving any of the money to your ex by setting up the trust fund and stipulate that the children can't receive any of the money until they're young adults. The normal age of legal maturity for such trusts ranges from 18 to 21. You may also stipulate that the insurance proceeds be restricted to higher education use only and held in trust until your children or other heirs avail themselves of the money for education.
You also need to think about ongoing medical insurance.
In some states you can stay on the medical insurance policy for 36 months after the divorce is final. Each child can be covered until they're adults. You also need to negotiate how medical insurance premiums are to be paid. Are they to be paid by you or your spouse or perhaps split between you?
If you get the primary residence in the settlement, you could face more surprises. The building, furnishings and personal property that are covered in your Homeowners Insurance may only be reimbursed to the person named as primary beneficiary on the policy. Therefore, if your spouse has the insurance in their name, then the value of any damaged property won't be reimbursed to you in the case of fire or other disaster. Your spouse will get all the money for the losses.
If you're the one moving out, make sure that you take everything that you value, that's permitted in the settlement for you to take. you'll want to take anything that you'd miss if you were unable to recover it.
If you're faced with getting Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Auto Insurance and Homeowners Insurance on your own, the time to start researching insurance options is now, before divorce papers are filed, not after.
If you would like to save your marriage and stop your divorce, Author Jim DeSantis presents a helpful free ebook: "Save Your Marriage, Stop Your Divorce" - here - No Email Required! It's also free at jim-desantis.blogspot.com/2008/06/save-your-marriagestop-your-divorce.html