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Health insurance no longer property division bargaining chip

The Affordable Care Act has helped scores of Pennsylvania residents receive the medical care they desperately need, but it is also having an interesting side effect on relationships throughout the nation. Now that insurance has been removed as a bargaining chip during the property division phase of a divorce, many experts say that more people are choosing to dissolve their marriages. Some Pennsylvania residents were forced to stay with their spouses simply because they could not afford to obtain their own insurance.

Although it may seem inconceivable that someone would continue a marriage simply to remain covered by insurance, this phenomenon is not nearly as uncommon as you would think. Insurance has certainly been used as a powerful tool during property division negotiations. In one case, a client was gravely ill, and his wife wanted a divorce. The couple obtained insurance through her job. The attorneys in the matter were able to offer serious property division concessions so long as the wife would agree to keep her husband on the insurance policy for eight additional years.

Now, with affordable insurance available in several forms, fewer couples are forced to stay together simply because of coverage. Further, insurance no longer has the power that it once commanded during property division negotiations. Scores of ex-spouses were able to receive major financial benefits simply because they agreed to carry their ex on a health insurance policy through COBRA. This is a major shift in the way property division is conducted.

Attorneys in Pennsylvania may be able to help divorcees learn more about their insurance options during the division of marital property. A family law lawyer may help partners understand the property division process. Insurance no longer has to dominate your divorce conversation.

Source: The Inquirer, "Insurance no longer may hinder divorce" Robert Calandra, Mar. 02, 2014

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