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Los Gatos divorce lawyer health insurance COBRAMany people take advantage of lower rates or better coverage by receiving health insurance through a plan provided by their spouse’s employer. But what happens when your policy is through your spouse, and you are planning to get a divorce? Your best choices for ensuring that you will have insurance coverage will depend on your situation. Rather than rush out and try to find a new health insurance plan immediately, you can ask your attorney to help you navigate the sometimes-confusing laws and regulations of health insurance coverage during divorce.

Can I Stay Covered?

Often, you will be able to stay on your spouse’s insurance, at least for the duration of the divorce. During a legal separation, on the other hand, you may or may not remain covered. That will depend on the insurance company. Also, if you decide to proceed with a divorce, your coverage will definitely end when the divorce is final, since laws prohibit people from staying on an ex-spouse’s insurance policy after divorce.

Your children, depending on their ages, should be able to stay covered under the ex-spouse’s plan, but an agreement will have to be reached on that. If your children are between the ages of 18 and 26, however, you will not be able to force your ex-spouse to keep them covered. Even though it is legal to provide coverage for adult children, parents are only required to keep their children insured until age 18.

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Posted on in Divorce

San Jose, CA divorce lawyer

When a couple is involved in the divorce process, one of the most important issues they have to face is the division of marital property. When emotions are running high, it can be difficult to remember all of the assets that need to be accounted for and addressed, especially for couples with a complicated assortment of financial investments and debts.

Tangible Assets

This can include many items, but among the largest are a couple’s home and automobiles. Often it makes sense that one party will stay in the family residence, and in that case, the other party will generally be due compensation to make up for whatever value and/or equity that may have accrued. If both spouses want the house, that will have to be determined through mediation or a decision by the court if no agreement can be made. Another option is for the house to be sold and the profits split evenly or equitably between the divorcing spouses. As for cars, both parties will likely keep their own vehicles, if they each have one. 

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Los Gatos CA divorce mediation lawyer child custodyIn the heat of the divorce proceedings, sometimes one parent is willing to do just about anything to hurt the other parent. In other cases, one parent may have legitimate concerns about their child’s health and safety when they are in the care of the other parent, and they may be willing to fight for months or years to protect their child. When there is a custody disagreement, mediation can ease the financial and emotional burden on all parties involved by allowing parents to take a more personal approach to resolving their disputes while saving time and money by not dragging matters out in the courtroom.

What Is the Purpose of a Mediator?

Divorce mediation is designed to bring parents together and help them settle on a parenting plan that will work for their individual situation. A mediator assists in facilitating agreements and provides the necessary information to both sides to help them come to an agreement. An attorney experienced in mediation knows the laws but also understands the human, emotional part of parenting during and after a divorce. It can be difficult to see past one’s own anger and fears during a divorce, and as a neutral third party, a mediator can advocate for the child or children involved, working to overcome the parents’ emotional disputes. 

Litigation in court is clinical and impersonal, and it can become drawn out and expensive when resolving custody and visitation matters. Mediation allows parents to work together to reach an agreement that they can both be satisfied with. However, if mediation lasts a long time, and either or both parents still refuse to come to terms, a mediator can provide an assessment and recommendations to the court. This often helps the judge to make a more informed decision that is in the children’s best interests.

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Los Gatos, CA divorce alimony attorneyOne of the trickiest issues to negotiate in a divorce can be the matter of spousal support, or alimony. When a couple has enjoyed a comfortable standard of living for many years, with one party being the primary income provider and the other taking primary responsibility for home and family needs, the issue of spousal support can be as important as the division of assets and retirement savings.  

When a couple is unable to reach agreement on the question of spousal support payments, and the couple does not have a premarital or postmarital agreement that addresses the subject, then a judge must decide whether to order spousal support and, if so, in what amount. This is a very complex decision, requiring the court to study not only the couple’s assets and debts but also their lifestyle, occupational skills, income-earning capacity, childcare needs, and more. 

Note that this article will discuss only “permanent” spousal support,” that is, payments that will be made by one party to the other after a marital settlement agreement has been finalized. This is separate from the “temporary” spousal support that may be required while a divorce is pending. 

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Santa Clara County permanent alimony attorneyWhen a couple decides to divorce, one issue that can be difficult to negotiate is the payment of spousal support, also known as alimony. You might think that a high-earning spouse will automatically have to pay monthly support to a spouse who has not been earning a paycheck or whose earnings have been substantially lower. However, California law on this issue is fairly complex. 

While child support payments are determined by state-mandated guidelines, and there is a basic formula used to compute “temporary” spousal support payments that may be required while a divorce is pending. However, there is no simple formula for post-divorce, “permanent” spousal support payments. (“Permanent” is in quotes because the duration of support payments will be defined in the final settlement agreement. The agreement could, for example, require payments for the supported party’s lifetime, until their remarriage, or only for a specific number of years.)

Generally speaking, the objective of temporary support is to enable each party to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage. However, Sections 4320-4339 of the California Family Code provide a long list of factors that the court must consider when deciding whether to order permanent spousal support, in what amount, and for what length of time.

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