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Thinking broadly about financials in divorcing may avoid surprise

Most people who decide to divorce may understand that many issues may need to be resolved during a divorce proceeding. Missouri law provides a framework for how specified issues should be resolved. We have discussed many family law issues on this blog, as well as how the courts may look at an issue, such as child custody or the division of property in divorce.

It is important to note that each family structure and financial situation is unique. Many issues may not come to mind for a person who has never divorced before. People who have divorced previously may also not recognize all the issues that might need to be addressed when ending a marriage.

Financial issues are important, and most people think about how debts and assets could be handled. Some people, however, may miss some important issues—such as dividing a retirement account in divorce. Insurance policies are also an important consideration.

Many households have a variety of insurance policies, and it may be beneficial for a person to consider assessing insurance issues in a divorce proceeding. Take for instance a life insurance policy. Some financial analysts note that the amount of money associated with a life insurance policy may exceed other assets. But failing to consider the policy (and current designated beneficiaries) at the time of divorce may lead to unintended consequences down the road.

Health insurance is a highly important issue these days. Many spouses carry health insurance for the other spouse through work. A financial professional from Philadelphia recently told Fox Business that a divorcing person may remain on a spouse’s health insurance policy for up to 36 months under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. But, COBRA premiums can be costly. Addressing health insurance issues at the time of a divorce can be an important financial decision.

Untangling insurance policies is but one aspect of the financial considerations a person should look at when seeking to end a marriage. Discussing property division and other financial issues with a Missouri family law attorney may help a person to cover the bases in the overall divorce.

Source: Fox Business, “How to Uncouple Your Insurance in Divorce," Michele Lerner, May 31, 2013

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