Does a Spouse Have to Pay for Health Insurance Until Age 65 After Divorce in Delaware?

By Jim Thomas

The legal obligations of your former spouse are spelled out in the divorce agreement or court decree. He'll have to pay your health insurance premiums in an amount and for a length of time ordered by the court — if the court orders him to so do. Courts in Delaware have considerable flexibility to craft divorce agreements, taking into account factors such as the financial status of the parties, the standard of living established during the marriage, the age, physical health, and emotional health of the parties, and the duration of the marriage.

The legal obligations of your former spouse are spelled out in the divorce agreement or court decree. He'll have to pay your health insurance premiums in an amount and for a length of time ordered by the court — if the court orders him to so do. Courts in Delaware have considerable flexibility to craft divorce agreements, taking into account factors such as the financial status of the parties, the standard of living established during the marriage, the age, physical health, and emotional health of the parties, and the duration of the marriage.

During and After Divorce

If you are covered under your spouse's health insurance plan during marriage, that coverage continues during the divorce process. Coverage cannot be canceled until the divorce is finalized. However, you won't be covered after the divorce becomes official, because you're no longer a legal dependent eligible for coverage. So you need to arrange for health care coverage before your divorce is finalized. One way is to ask your former spouse to pick up the costs of your health care as part of the divorce settlement.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Health Care Costs as Alimony

A Delaware court may award alimony in an amount and for a period of time it sees fit, without regard to marital conduct. The court considers the amount of alimony that is necessary to meet your "reasonable needs." All sorts of expenses, including the cost of health insurance, are factored into a determination of alimony payments. If you are unlikely to be able to afford the cost of health insurance until you become eligible for Medicare at age 65, you can ask the court to extend alimony for health care payments until that age.

Other Health Care Options

If your health care coverage is terminated by divorce, you have several options. You can purchase private health insurance coverage using your own funds. You also can apply for coverage under COBRA, a federal law that gives you the right to receive continued health care coverage from your spouse's employer, if the company has 20 or more employees, after the divorce. COBRA has drawbacks. You have to apply within 60 days of your divorce to be eligible, it's very expensive, and it only lasts for 36 months.

Considerations

Maintaining health care can be absolutely essential for many people, especially if you have previous medical conditions. If you stand to lose your health care benefits after a divorce, it's important to discuss the issue with a professional during the divorce process. In some cases, for example, it might be in the best interests of a couple to live separately, but not formally divorce, in order to maintain health care benefits for one spouse under the other spouse's health insurance.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Who Gets the Responsibility of Medical Insurance After a Divorce in New Hampshire?

References

Related articles

Military Spouse Divorce Benefits

Members of the United States military and their spouses qualify for a variety of benefits, such as health care, pension, and use of the base commissary and exchange. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) allows states to treat the former spouse of a service member as a dependent. This means that following divorce, the former spouse can qualify to continue receiving some military benefits. Qualification generally depends on how long the marriage lasted and how long the service member was in the military during the marriage.

New York State Health Insurance Rules When Getting a Divorce

New York does not require health insurers to provide health insurance for divorced spouses, so one spouse may lose health insurance when she divorces if she was covered by her husband’s plan. New York law even requires divorcing spouses to acknowledge they are aware they will no longer be allowed to receive health care coverage under a former spouse’s insurance plan once the divorce is final.

Military Divorce Spousal Benefits

Unlike most spouses, those married to members of the United States military have the federal government in their corner if they divorce. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act provides them with certain immutable benefits. This is both good and bad. The rules are ironclad, so divorce courts can’t deny you these benefits. But a sympathetic judge can’t do much to override them, either, and give you more than the USFSPA provides.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Health Insurance Laws During Divorce in Texas

Families often obtain health insurance through one spouse’s employer-sponsored group plan; however, you likely ...

Spouse's Rights to Military Benefits

As a civilian spouse, your military benefits are typically based on your marital status and a divorce may mean losing ...

How to Keep Health Insurance After a Divorce in Alaska

Life can change radically after a divorce and Alaska spouses may lose benefits that were based on their marital status, ...

Georgia Health Insurance Laws Concerning Divorce

Many spouses have health insurance coverage through their spouse’s group plan, but that eligibility changes when ...

Browse by category