May 9, 2018

Healthcare After Divorce

Obtaining and maintaining healthcare is already a stressful and burdensome task, but adding a divorce to the mix makes it more strenuous. So what happens to your healthcare when you go through a divorce? Find out in today’s blog.

Your Healthcare

A divorce splits up a couple’s property, debt, and intangible assets legally. It also splits up your healthcare plan up as well. A lot of time couple’s share health insurance plans through their respective employers and other times, the breadwinner is the sole provider of the health insurance. The problem is, when divorce occurs, your legal right to your spouses’ health insurance does too. That can be problematic for an unemployed spouse.

A fool-proof solution to keeping your health insurance is to file for legal separation rather than a divorce. This reason is typically the most popular reason for people to file for legal separation rather than divorce. The legal separation divides the property, the assets, and the debt but still provides a legal marriage. However, there is always a catch. The other party must agree to the legal separation. If a decree of legal separation enters, either party can convert the legal separation into a divorce decree at any time after six months has passed.

Another option is through spousal maintenace. Spousal maintenance can be increased in order to accommodate a new health insurance payment. This is never a guaranteed route. In order to be successful you must present specifics to the Court, such as how much a new health insurance plan will cost. The biggest hurdle is proving that you have the need for that spousal maintenance, and additionally, proving the need for the extra amount for the health insurance.

That being said, if you are going through a divorce and rely on your spouse’s health insurance, start preparing yourself for the inevitable. Start planning financially for your future to include future income, future healthcare, and future living arrangements. A practical word of advice I give my clients is to always be able to take care of yourself so you do not have to rely on anyone else.

Your Children’s Healthcare

Unlike the parent, the divorce will not cut off children’s access to health insurance. If at least one parent has private health insurance for the children, the Court will require the child stays on that health insurance plan.  If given the option to have private health insuranceor state funded health insurance, the Court will always choose private health insurance. The parent who is providing the health insurance for the child receives a credit on the child support calculation. The idea is that the credit compensates the parent who is providing the health insurance.

Even with health insurance, everyone knows there can be out of pocket expenses. Who gets to pay those extra expenses? Well Colorado takes care of that for you. The parent who provides the health insurance must pay the first $250 annual out of pocket dollars first. After that the parents split the out of pocket expenses in proportion to their income. Sometimes parties agree to split the costs equally, but if there is no agreement the Court will default to the aforementioned.

If you need help with your divorce and creating a game plan on how to be successful after your divorce, do not hesitate to contact us at Springs Law Group for your free consultation today!

Christopher Nicolaysen is a Family law Attorney who practices in Colorado Springs, CO. He graduated from Denver Sturm College of Law, and has been practicing law for several years now. Christopher Nicolaysen is passionate about helping you solve your family matters. Learn more about his experience here.

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