Getting Divorced or Separated
At Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation, we understand the stress and emotion that come with going through a divorce. Whether you and your soon-to-be ex are on speaking terms or not, it helps to have a guiding hand through the grueling process of paperwork and settlements. Killingbeck is here to help when it comes to adjusting your insurance after a divorce.
You should try to be easy on yourself through the process, and take it one step at a time. Of course, this is easier said than done. We suggest revising your protection plan to reflect your changed needs, and to ensure that you are fully covered when you need it. Let us make your transition from joint coverage to an individual protection plan as smooth as possible. As you make this change, you’ll want to take the following tips into consideration:
Under the legal definition, a separation is considered a court-decreed right to live apart, with the rights and obligations of divorced persons, without actually being divorced. The man and woman are still legally married and cannot remarry. A spouse may petition for a legal separation - usually on the same basis as for a divorce - and include requests for child custody, alimony, child support and division of property.
Unfortunately, when it comes to insurance, a separation makes matters more complicated. As long as both parties are considered ‘named insureds’ on a policy, neither person can be deleted from the plan, and the details of the insurance cannot be changed without consent from the other party. Since we cannot make changes to your insurance plan when only one of you requests the change, we advise you to take the following steps in the event of a separation:
- If you or your partner moves out, be sure to update your auto policy with the new garaging address of the vehicle, as well as information about how far the car is being driven to work. Once this is done, the process of splitting the joint auto policy can begin.
- Whoever moves out should get renter’s or homeowner’s insurance for their new residence. The existing homeowner’s policy will not extend full coverage to the new address.
Give Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation a call at (765) 452-8000. We can help keep you fully covered in this phase of the transition.
Once your ex-spouse moves out and the divorce is final, you should complete the process of getting separate auto policies. Give Killingbeck a call – we represent many different insurance companies and can help find the best protection plan to fit your new lifestyle and budget. If, on the other hand, you decide to stay with your current provider, you will keep your credits and discounts for being a ‘safe driver’ or a ‘continuous customer,’ even if you have to select a new policy with the same company.
If you have children that have reached driving age in your family, it is important to make sure they are covered under the policy of the car they have access to. If you purchased them their own vehicle, it will usually be registered and insured under the name of the parent with whom the child lives most often. Since these issues are complicated and rarely clear-cut, it’s best to review your situation with your Killingbeck agent to make sure your coverage is structured properly based on that specific company’s rules.
Homeowners or Renters Insurance
The divorce has been finalized, and you’re the one who stays in the home you once shared. It’s a big place, and it’s going to feel awfully empty for awhile, but at least you don’t have to move, right? Before you begin the process of redecorating, give us a call so we can adjust your homeowner’s insurance to your name only, and make it work for your new needs.
You should also give us a call if you’re the one who’s moving out – we’ll set you up with a renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy for your new place.
After going through a divorce, the last thing you need is another unnecessary hassle. Get your protection plan in place so you can have the peace of mind you deserve. At Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation, we’re here to help make the process as easy as possible for you. We shop multiple companies, and will find the plan that best fits your new needs and budget.
While going through the process of a divorce settlement, questions of alimony, life insurance, and beneficiaries make dealing with finances a difficult issue, with heated emotions often adding to the strain.
If you already have a life insurance policy in place, you may want to consider keeping it as is, with your ex-spouse as the main beneficiary. If you are making monthly alimony payments, your ex probably relies on that money for cost of living and child support. If you take them off your policy, your former spouse and children could be left in serious financial turmoil in case of your untimely death. If, on the other hand, you have no financial obligations to your ex, you may want to continue your life insurance policy but name a new beneficiary. One of the main benefits of keeping your life insurance in place is that it allows you to lock in your rates and insurability, regardless of possible future health issues (this is also why you should considering purchasing life insurance if you don’t already have it).
Another option is to declare your children to be the main beneficiaries of your life insurance, but it is important to keep in mind that children under the age of 18 cannot directly receive life insurance benefits. If you die, the funds would either be managed by a designated trustee, or the insurance company would hold the money until the child becomes a legal adult. At Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation, we recommend contacting a family attorney who can establish a trust which can be named as the beneficiary. Once this is done, you can then designate which friend or family member will be entrusted to manage the finances for your children, and who will act as their guardians.
If you were previously covered on your spouse’s group health insurance policy, you will need to find a new plan if your marriage ends in a divorce. If this is the case, you’ll want to check to see whether you qualify for COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). Under COBRA, divorcing spouses are allowed to continue their current health insurance plan at their own expense for up to three years following the divorce.
COBRA offers distinct advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, it can be a relatively quick and easy way to ensure continuous health care coverage. On the other hand, you may develop a condition that limits your insurability and keeps you from getting your own plan once the COBRA coverage comes to an end. That said, it may be best to set up your own health insurance policy as soon as possible.
If you have kids, carefully compare your plan with your spouse’s, and enroll them in the better policy. However, due to rules regarding preferred provider networks, it is important to remember that coverage may change or even be reduced to emergency care if the policyholder and children live in different states.
A divorce is never easy. Let Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation help by assisting you with your new insurance protection plan. We’ll give you choices, solutions, and absolute confidentiality when it comes to setting up your new policy. Give us a call today at (765) 452-8000 – you’ll be glad you did.