Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “Do I need an attorney to get a Divorce in North Carolina?”
Insurance may not be one of the first things that crosses your mind if you’re in the midst of or recently emerging from a North Carolina divorce. Though insurance may not seem pressing, the reality is that it can prove quite important given that emergencies seldom come with advance warning. To ensure that you are fully protected and insurance proceeds go where you intend them to go, spend some time after your divorce making sure to get your insurance affairs in order. For ideas on what to watch out for, keep reading.
First things first, you need to be sure that if you have an existing life insurance policy that you take time to update the beneficiary designation. After all, if you don’t have any continued financial obligations after the divorce, you likely don’t want to leave your life insurance to your former spouse. If you don’t have life insurance and you are obligated to make child support or alimony payments, you may be required to get life insurance in case something should happen so that your income stream can be guaranteed for the future. In this case, you’ll need to name either your spouse or children as beneficiaries to ensure they are taken care of in the event something bad should happen.
The same rules that apply to life insurance apply to disability coverage. If you have an existing disability policy and aren’t required to make continued financial payments to your spouse or children, then be sure to review your beneficiary designations to remove your former partner. If you do have financial obligations post-divorce, you may want (or be required) to invest in disability insurance to ensure that support payments continue even if you’re injured and find yourself unable to work.
If you have your own health insurance then the good news is that you’ll be able to continue this coverage going forward. If you don’t have your own coverage and were instead listed on your spouse’s insurance, it’s important you take steps to guarantee that your coverage continues as an unexpected health problem could prove financially devastating. Typically you have a few options after the divorce is finalized. One option is to sign up for coverage through your employer, assuming it’s offered. Another possibility would be to buy a policy directly from a health insurance company or health insurance exchange. Finally, you can elect to continue your spouse’s current coverage if you choose to stay on COBRA. COBRA can be quite expensive and it only extends coverage for up to 36 months, meaning you’ll need to have another option prepared for the long-term.
Once you divorce you need to call your insurance company and separate out your policies. Remove your former spouse as a driver on your policy and make sure that you’re off their policy. Same thing goes with the house. The home insurance also needs to be in the name of the homeowner rather than both parties, and the insurance company should be advised when one of the parties moves out of the home. If you’re the one who moves out of the house and into an apartment or other rental property, you’ll also need to remember to look for renter’s insurance, something you may not have thought about for many years.
If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, then you need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.
About the Author
Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.
Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.
A certified Family-Law Specialist, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state and administrative courts in North Carolina, before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, and before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.
See Our Related Video from our YouTube channel:
See Our Related Blog Posts: