Court-Ordered Health Insurance After a Divorce

When going through a divorce, you may be wondering if you and your dependents can remain on your spouse’s health insurance during and after the divorce. This is an important factor to consider during your divorce. Laws regarding this vary from state to state.  However, in Arizona spouses and children do have the right to remain on the other party’s insurance plan during the divorce. This is a protected right and one that can be sought through a preliminary injunction that will prevent your spouse from removing you and your children from their health insurance policy. If your spouse were to drop you and your children from the plan prior to submitting a preliminary injunction, you can then seek a court order to be reinstated.

Keep in mind, however, that when it comes to health insurance you are treading muddy waters once the divorce is finalized. While Arizona law ensures that dependent children will remain on the health insurance plan, the spouse will likely be dropped and need to find alternative health coverage. Your spouse may agree to keep you on their plan but the insurance company has the right to drop you once the divorce is final. Furthermore, if the health insurance plan is sponsored by an employer, by law they have no obligation to continue to pay the premiums associated with your health coverage. All in all, the health insurance provider can insist you are dropped from the plan all together.

No matter if your spouse has the intention of applying for insurance through healthcare exchanges, joining an employer plan at their place of work, or converting to a new policy with the same provider, the health insurance premiums should be addressed during the divorce. In some cases, the spouse who is the primary financial provider will be required to pay for their spouse’s health insurance for a period.

Who Covers Health Insurance Costs after a Divorce?

Oftentimes, a divorce that occurs within a single-income household requires the spouse with employment to pay for the ex-spouse’s health insurance until this spouse remarries. However, many households today are considered dual income, meaning there is no guarantee of getting health care costs covered by an ex-spouse. In fact, in this case each party could end up being responsible for acquiring and paying for their own health insurance and premiums once the divorce is final. The outcome depends on the particulars of each divorce case.

Utilize an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Because of the complex issues associated with health insurance, it’s important to work with an experienced divorce attorney to get the results you want. You should never count on your ex-spouse to fulfill your health insurance needs. He or she could agree to do this and then change their pledge. For this reason, you must make health insurance a priority during divorce negotiations and come to an agreement in writing. Once the divorce is final, you can seek a court order to enforce the agreement, which will hold your ex-spouse accountable to what they agreed upon during the divorce proceedings.

What are Health Insurance Coverage Orders?

During the divorce proceedings, when you are crafting the terms of health coverage, it’s important to consider contingencies. These can include how much your ex-spouse must pay toward your premiums and how long they will pay for this. Also, be sure to address who will pay for higher premium costs if this should arise. In addition, you need to plan for unemployment, job changes, and the changing of insurance providers. If your spouse breaks the agreement solidified during the divorce, the court will not seek out your ex-spouse on their own. This is something you need to do with the help of an attorney.

Modifying the Agreement or Court Order

Life changes and you need to be prepared for this. It is possible that a change may occur that would require you to amend the settlement agreement or court order. This can be done with the consent of both parties. However, if you and your ex-spouse are unable to reach an agreement during the negotiations, you have the right to file a court order and bring the issue in front of a judge.

Loss of Health Insurance after a Divorce

The thought of losing your health insurance due to a divorce can be stressful. However, it is easy to obtain health insurance today, especially when children are involved. Health insurance providers consider a divorce a qualifying life event that makes you eligible for a special enrollment period. In fact, by law, you have 60 days to join a new health insurance plan once you go through a life changing event such as a divorce. This gives you plenty of time to find a new health insurance provider while you are still covered. To start with, look to your employer for new health coverage. If a policy is not available, you can go through the healthcare exchanges that have been put in place by the Affordable Care Act. These government plans, such as Medicare, are an alternative option for health coverage for you and any dependents.

In some cases, a health insurance provider will convert a married or family policy into an individual policy. If you are happy with your health insurance provider, remaining with then after the divorce is an option. Call your health insurance provider to see if they allow this change. In some cases, they may be willing to keep your children on the policy and then put you on an individual policy.

You may also need to consider COBRA insurance – the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. This act allows you to remain on your health insurance policy while you look for a new one. The downside to this, however, is cost. You may have to pay the entire premium each month, which can be much higher than what you or your spouse is paying now.

To learn more about keeping you and your dependents covered under a health insurance policy during and after a divorce, contact the experts at The Sampair Group today. Our team can be reached at 623-777-3926.

How To Handle A Skipped Visitation

Your parenting time plan is designed to give both parents meaningful access to your child. This time is important not only for you as a parent, but it is essential for your child’s development to have real relationships with both parents. Learning what to do when visitation is missed or skipped is something you need to know as you move forward after your divorce or custody case.

If you are the residential parent and the other parent skips his or her scheduled parenting times, you may be frustrated by the schedule changes. While it’s important to be flexible with each about necessary schedule adjustments, if your ex is simply not showing up on a regular basis without rescheduling or letting you know, it’s stressful for you and your child. There is nothing you can do to force a parent to utilize his or her scheduled parenting time, except lay guilt trips about how disappointed your child is. What you can do is seek to modify the schedule so that visits are planned at times when your ex might actually use them. If visits continue to be completely missed, you can seek to have them completely removed from the schedule.

If you are the nonresidential parent and your ex, the residential parent, is doing things to prevent you from using your scheduled parenting time, like constantly moving dates and times, or simply not being there for your pick up, you need to talk to your attorney. You can enforce the schedule in court and you can use these evasion techniques as a basis for asking for more time with your child, and possibly even a change in legal custody.

The Sampair Group has experience in difficult parenting time cases all across the valley. Make an appointment to meet the attorney that will help you with your case.

Dividing Property in an Arizona Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, there’s no question that it can be a difficult process that causes both financial and emotional challenges. These issues often get even more trying if you are unable to come to some type of agreement about the primary issues that need to be resolved – especially the division of your property. Read on to learn more about this here.

Understanding Community Property

According to Arizona law, any debts and assets that are acquired by a married couple from the beginning of their marriage until the divorce paperwork is served is considered community property. This means that each spouse is entitled to receive half.

Technically, there’s no requirement for the court to divide all the property equally. Instead, the court will divide property “equitably” or fairly based on the circumstances. Even with this being the case, unequal divisions are extremely rare. Debt or property that is brought into the marriage by one spouse or funds or assets that are received during the time of the marriage by inheritance or a gift, is the property of that spouse as long as it has been maintained separately.

Even though this seems pretty straightforward, trying to figure out separate property from community property can often present a challenge. In some situations, separate property is converted into community property when the single owner of a home opts to change the title to community property. Also, the community property may obtain an interest in the separate or sold property of one spouse if improvements or mortgage payments are made by both spouses.

How is Marital Property Divided in Arizona?

There are several ways that assets may be divided in Arizona during a divorce. The two people getting divorced can come to an agreement, assigning certain assets to the other person, or even buy out the other’s share. Additionally, they can opt to sell the assets and then divide the proceeds that are earned.

Also, all of the debts that are incurred, which include credit cards, car loans and mortgages have to be assigned to one of the spouses and each of the marital debts needs to be paid off after the divorce has become final.

While the classification of a couple’s property is something that takes place automatically after the couple is married, they do not have to follow the laws of community property if they agree to a post- or pre-marital agreement. This provides that each spouse will maintain their assets separate from the other.

Additionally, there are several exceptions based on Arizona law that require community property to be divided equally. For example, if one spouse’s behavior (i.e. gambling or drug use) wasted the community property.

In the end, due to the complexity related to issues of property division in Arizona divorce cases, one of the best things a person can do is to enlist the services of a divorce attorney. At the Sampair Group we can help ensure that the entire process is handled fairly, regardless of the asset or debt situation that may be present. Contact us today at 623-777-3926.

Eight Conversations That Are Essential After Divorce

Once the ink on your divorce decree has dried and you have given yourself the time needed to move past the pain of divorce, it might be time to start dating again. For many the idea of getting back “out there” after divorce is scary, because the fear of history repeating itself is great. No doubt going through a divorce takes a toll; physically, emotionally, and financially. And, in most cases the entire family is impacted by the news that divorce is imminent. In order to take positive steps after divorce, it is important to look at your marriage and divorce process, and see where change can be made.

A big part in identifying areas of opportunity for growth lies in being honest with yourself about your expectations. If you have begun dating again, sharing these thoughts with a new romantic partner is essential. Eight conversations you should have after divorce, if you want to avoid going down that road again in the future, include:

  • Be honest about your shortcomings, so you can hold yourself accountable for your actions; past, present, and future.
  • Be honest about your ex’s shortcomings, which includes being able to articulate good points about your former spouse. If you are able to find good in your ex, you will be better equipped to find good in yourself as well as a new mate, despite any flaws.
  • Talk about how to handle disagreements, and commit yourself to being open and honest, while remaining fair.
  • Have a clear picture of your financial goals, and make sure any new love interest shares those goals. It has been said money is the number one cause of divorce, and tackling this sensitive topic early on can save you a lot of heartache down the road.
  • If you have children, make plans to include them in your new life with your new partner. If your new partner has kids, make sure those children are also included. Blending families can be tricky, but does not have to be impossible.
  • If you are blending a family, get on the same page about discipline and other important parenting issues.
  • Stand up for yourself when necessary.
  • Talk about the type of future you want, and come up with a plan to reach your goals together.

If you have been through a divorce and are considering remarrying, or have just begun a new relationship, it is important that history not repeat itself. However, life does have a way of being unpredictable, even when best efforts are given. If you are considering divorce for the first, or a subsequent time, call us for help.

For more information about divorce, contact us for an appointment today. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your initial visit.


Who Gets The Friends In A Divorce?

Division of assets and property as well as splitting up debt are typical issues when a couple dissolves their marriage. Deciding where the kids will live and what type of visitation schedule to put in place is another important part of divorces with minor children. Less common issues include who gets the family pet, and what happens when you part ways but have common friends. A surprising fact about who remains friends with which spouse is that in most instances the friends are just as unsure how to react as the parties.

The Huffington Post reported on this issue, and has the following tips on how to split the friends when divorcing:


● Talk it over with your soon to be ex.

● Accept that some friendships will not weather the storm of your divorce, and realize that the relationship has run its course. Moving on sometimes requires making changes.

● Communicate your concerns with your friends.

It is also important not to force your friends to pick sides. Doing so will only add to any already existing uneasiness and likely create negative feelings between friends. If your situation is such that it is not possible to talk with your spouse about your concerns over how your friends will fare in the divorce, think about putting your thoughts down on paper. Consider drafting a letter, regardless of whether it is sent. Putting your feelings down on paper can help you to sort through your needs.

For more information about divorce and how it impacts more than just your family, consult a qualified legal professional. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call the Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.