Insurance Issues
Summary in Divorce

Insurance cannot be forgotten when a marriage ends. Sometimes courts require that a noncustodial parent to obtain health and dental insurance for the children. As part of their separation agreement, couples frequently negotiate a qualified medical child support order (QMCSO), which provides continued and uninterrupted medical insurance coverage of the child of the insured parent as a part of the final decree in a divorce. This qualified order, known as a QMCSO, can be part of COBRA coverage that also protects the former wife.

COBRA, which is the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, can help fill the void that had been occupied by employer-paid group insurance. COBRA guarantees that all individuals who are covered by medical insurance have the right to continue coverage for a monthly fee if employment or marital status changes. A nonemployee spouse in a terminated marriage is entitled to COBRA coverage at his or her own cost for up to thirty-six months.

As it applies to divorce, COBRA protects ex-spouses even after one of them remarries, for a fixed period of time, as well as employees who lose their positions. COBRA establishes a time line for picking up coverage (which must be religiously observed), and it is very expensive.

Life insurance may also become a consideration in a property settlement.
Sometimes courts order one spouse (usually the economically advantaged spouse) to maintain whole or term life insurance for the benefit of his former spouse and children.

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