Can I Have My Ex-Spouse on My Health and Life Insurance Policy?

If you're going through a painful divorce, chances are good that you've been getting into plenty of arguments with your spouse in recent months. When every piece of jointly-owned property is up for grabs, it shouldn't be a surprise that you and your partner have brought out the worst in one another. Then again, you may have been arguing over such matters long before the divorce.

Most divorce-related arguments involve big-ticket items like houses, cars, mortgage payments, child custody and other major issues. Despite their relative cost and importance, insurance matters are often treated as afterthoughts during the divorce process. With the advent of a slew of insurance-related regulations the new mandate that most American adults carry health insurance, it may no longer be possible to ignore these issues. If you're wondering what to do with your family's health insurance policy after your divorce, you'll need to keep several things in mind.

For starters, your ex-spouse is not legally permitted to remain on your health insurance policy. Once your divorce has been finalized, you and your ex-partner are no longer considered to be a "family unit." You'll need to adjust the terms of your policy to reflect the fact that you'll be the only adult on it. It should be noted that this change could save you more than $1,000 per year.

It's also important to note that your ex-spouse's lack of coverage options won't affect your children's insurance coverage. Even if you're the non-custodial parent, you'll be able to carry all of your minor children on your health insurance policy. If your spouse lacks health insurance, you'll almost certainly be responsible for covering your kids. As such, you'll need to retain a family health insurance plan and be prepared to spend more money each month.

Life insurance is a different matter. As long as you continue to pay your premiums, your life insurance company will permit you to name virtually anyone as the beneficiary of your policy. In fact, it's fairly common for policyholders to name their ex-spouses as life insurance beneficiaries. If there are children involved in the divorce, such an arrangement ensures that they'll be comfortable and healthy in the event of your unexpected death. Such arrangements are often designed to replace the spousal and child support payments that non-custodial parents must make in the aftermath of a divorce. Alternatively, you could name your children as the joint beneficiaries of your policy.

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