Berman & Asbel, LLP

Don't let property division distract from insurance issues

Pennsylvania couples who are going through a divorce have a wide range of issues to work out. The process of splitting one household into two involves negotiations on topics major and minor, and many couples struggle to know which items to prioritize. Matters of child custody and support usually top the list for couples with children. Those without kids often focus on handling property division.

A recently released study suggests that when it comes to divorce, women are particularly vulnerable to losing their health insurance coverage in the timeframe immediately following the end of their marriage. This information may help to remind spouses that the division of marital assets should include a discussion about the value of an existing insurance policy. This is especially important when a wife is covered under her husband's employment benefits, and will no longer qualify once the divorce is final.

When focusing on property division, spouses usually compile a master list of all items of marital property, then work through that list to determine which item will go to which party. Similar attention to detail should be given to creating a post-divorce budget, one that outlines every possible expense that will be incurred following the split. Having such a budget will allow each spouse to best determine his or her financial standing once the divorce is final.

For women, knowing what the future holds in regard to budgeting will allow a fully informed negotiation concerning property division and the division of intangible assets such as health insurance. As with any legal matter, moving forward with a full understanding of the situation allows for a better outcome. Health insurance may not top the list of many Pennsylvania spouses' concerns, but a loss of coverage can become a serious problem in the event of an illness or injury.

Source:, "For Thousands of Women, Costs Of Divorce Include Health Coverage," Alan McStravick, Nov. 13, 2012

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