For people in Virginia who decide to divorce, the financial implications can be more complicated even than the emotional and practical aspects of the end of a marriage. One of the more unexpected issues that people may need to deal with include changes to the family’s insurance coverage. There are a number of types of insurance that can be affected by a divorce, but health and life insurance are the most prominent. In many cases, one spouse is covered under the other’s health insurance obtained at work.

After a divorce, the former spouse will be removed from that spouse’s health insurance, leaving him or her in need of new insurance coverage. COBRA provides a three-year span to continue to carry a spouse’s coverage, but better options may be available through the exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act or through the other spouse’s employer. A divorce is a triggering life event that allows people to sign up for health insurance at any time of year. It is important to act quickly on this issue because unexpected consequences could ensue if the former spouse becomes ill shortly after the divorce while insurance is in transition.

Life insurance can also be an important matter to address in a divorce. In some cases, people may negotiate a special life insurance policy to accompany spousal support, in case the paying spouse passes away while support payments are still due. In general, absent an alternate agreement, people should also act quickly to change their beneficiaries after the divorce is final.

There is a range of financial changes that accompany divorce, from life insurance issues to dividing retirement funds. A family law attorney might provide advice and representation to divorcing spouses to reach a fair settlement on divorce legal matters, including property division and spousal support.