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Updating Your Insurance Policies After a Divorce

Many married couples have combined insurance policies. When you get divorced, you will need to update these policies or cancel them altogether and establish new policies of your own.

The following is some quick information regarding how to review and update these policies to reflect that you are no longer married:

  • Life insurance: If you own a life insurance policy under your name, you will probably want to change your primary beneficiary to be someone other than your former spouse (unless you are required to maintain them pursuant to the terms of your settlement agreement) If you share a joint policy, you can choose to keep that policy, but will need to work out an agreement for who will pay the premiums. You could also transfer a joint policy to one spouse and have the other take out a policy of his or her own — or cancel the policy and start from scratch.
  • Auto insurance: You may continue joint policies, similar to what you would do with life insurance. This is not recommended as your soon to be ex spouse’s driving history could impact your premiums. Most insurance companies do not allow you to remove someone from a policy without his or her consent, so you will need to address this issue in your divorce negotiations.
  • Health insurance: Married couples often rely on the insurance plan of one spouse for coverage. When you get divorced, you may either get your own insurance through your employer or the marketplace, or you can see if you qualify for COBRA coverage. This program allows you to stay on your spouse’s plan for up to 36 months after the divorce, but it can get rather expensive.
  • Last Will & Testament: After your divorce, you should revoke any prior will which names your ex spouse as beneficiary. You should update or have a new will drafted at the conclusion of your case. This can be done immediately after an agreement is signed but prior to the finalization of the divorce.

For further guidance on updating your insurance policies after your divorce, meet with an experienced Long Island family law attorney at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.