A common problem in many divorce cases, especially where only one spouse is employed, is the issue of health insurance. In Florida, as soon as a Divorce Petition is filed, neither spouse is allowed to remove the other from their health insurance policy. However, in North Carolina, there is no such limitation. This poses a serious dilemma for the dependent spouse who can no longer work or find a job with group health benefits. (I posted previously about how the new Health Insurance Bill will help these folks.)
So what do you do if you are faced with the prospect of separation or divorce and your spouse is carrying you on their group health insurance plan? First of all, you need to speak with an attorney immediately. Second, you need to assess the likelihood that your spouse will drop you from their coverage. This assessment can be done by considering some of the following factors:
- Has your spouse told you that they will drop you?
- Is your relationship with your spouse toxic or can you talk to them calmly?
- Has your spouse indicated a willingness to help you during the divorce?
- Did your spouse leave abruptly without telling you?
- Who manages the financial accounts – you or your spouse?
- Is your spouse hiding assets?
Bottom line here – every situation is unique. The more contentious your situation, the greater the likelihood that you will need to seek court intervention. However, if your spouse is willing to work with you, then perhaps you can negotiate an agreement on your own.