When Missouri couples decide to get a divorce, there are many obvious issues that will come to the forefront. That includes spousal support (also referred to as alimony), child support, child custody and property division. However, the emotional stress that accompanies the end of a marriage does not stop there. It is often only when the process is fully underway or near its conclusion that other factors that can present personal and financial challenges. Insurance is a consideration that is frequently left in the background, but must be factored in during a divorce. As with any divorce, it is wise to have legal advice before, during and after.

It is common for one spouse to have a job that provides health insurance coverage to the entire family. Once the divorce is completed, that could end. For those who are faced with a situation in which they are about to lose healthcare coverage because of a divorce, COBRA must be understood. This is the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It was put in place more than three decades ago to assist people who did not earn sufficient income post-divorce to pay for health coverage or did not have a job that had health coverage as a benefit. The person can remain on the former spouse’s insurance plan for three years. Although it must be paid for, it is a bridge to find alternatives for coverage like the Affordable Care Act.

Another insurance consideration is life insurance. This is particularly important for those who are expecting to receive spousal support. When the paying former spouse dies, the person receiving payments will no longer get those payments. If there is a life insurance policy, this can be covered even after the paying former spouse has died. In many divorce cases, there is life insurance as part of the settlement. Deciding how it will be paid for after the divorce is part of the negotiation and it might be wise for the supported former spouse to cover those payments for an added layer of protection and control. Having the policy in place before the divorce is completed is sound advice.

Getting a divorce is worrisome enough in the moment without needing to think about the future without various forms of insurance. Having legal assistance with this issue and others is imperative to avoid common pitfalls. Calling a law firm that handles all aspects of a divorce is vital and should be done from the start.