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Insurance and a Massachusetts divorce: what to look out for

Making a big life change, like getting married, or divorced, is accompanied by a number of smaller changes that a person needs to make in order to complete the transition. One of the changes a person must address when approaching, or going through a divorce, is how insurance will be handled. When married, families often have a single policy that supports both spouses and children, if the couple has any.

Obviously with a change in marital status, this could affect the way people are insured. Once a divorce is finalized, an ex-spouse is often immediately dropped from his or her spouse’s health insurance policy. This would not affect any children (or dependents) unless it was otherwise arranged. If you wish to stay on your spouse’s policy, but at your own expense, you can do so under COBRA. This can cover a person up to 36 months.

Auto insurance can be tricky if a vehicle is being paid for by both spouses, even during a separation, or after a divorce. Notice of transfer of ownership of a vehicle should be made to your insurance company, as should a change of address. There are also considerations one should make if he or she has personal item insurance on marital property and/or life insurance policies.

Especially with the life insurance policies, you may want to consider who the appropriate beneficiary should be now that you and your spouse are getting a divorce. There are other matters that will likely need to be address, issues such as marital property division, child custody and other issues may also need attention. These things can all be determined in a divorce settlement. Insurance is just one piece of the puzzle.

Source:, “4 Insurance Musts for getting Married – or Divorced,” Laura Adams, February 2, 2017