My attorney recommended getting a status only divorce to get x to be off ins. Is this a good move or is there something better?

My spouse has now been over a year in the bankruptcy. His debts before marriage. Spouse turned 65 in Sept and had to sign up for medicare. since I couldn't take him off my ins. without a divorce I took him off at open enrollment in jan this year.. He has coverage through the VA also, so he does have coverage. There has been no spousal support paid to him. and because of the bankruptcy none of the property can be settled until that is done. Is status only the move to make.. ?

Redding, CA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Donald Frederick Conviser

Donald Frederick Conviser

Family Law Attorney - Woodland Hills, CA
Answered

You may have violated the ATROs when you took your husband off your health care at open enrollment in January. If he tries to make a claim against your health care coverage, you could face problems. I see two possible not-so-good options and one possibly reasonable alternative: One - an RFO requesting that the Court relieve you from the ATRO restraining you from cancelling your husband's health care coverage through your employment due to his eligibility for Medicare coverage (but that would highlight your violation of the ATROs), or Two - a bifurcated status-only dissolution (but you would need to become his health insurer pursuant to Family Code Section 2337 if you did so). 3) If you can get a letter from your husband acknowledging that he is now covered by Medicare and agreeing that you can remove him from your plan's open-enrollment, that would be a better option than the first two, and you wouldn't have to pay the Family Code Section 2337 penalties. Or, you could hope that he just uses Medicare and doesn't try to make a claim on your health insurance coverage. Good luck.

Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is... more
Cathleen Elisabeth Norton

Cathleen Elisabeth Norton

Family Law Attorney - Beverly Hills, CA
Answered

You are mistaken if you believe that bifurcation of status will negate your obligation to provide health insurance for your spouse. The relevant portion of Family Code 2337 is quoted below for your review:

Until judgment has been entered on all remaining issues and has become final, the party shall maintain all existing health and medical insurance coverage for the other party and any minor children as named dependents, so long as the party is eligible to do so. If at any time during this period the party is not eligible to maintain that coverage, the party shall, at the party's sole expense, provide and maintain health and medical insurance coverage that is comparable to the existing health and medical insurance coverage to the extent it is available. To the extent that coverage is not available, the party shall be responsible to pay, and shall demonstrate to the court's satisfaction the ability to pay, for the health and medical care for the other party and the minor children, to the extent that care would have been covered by the existing insurance coverage but for the dissolution of marital status, and shall otherwise indemnify and hold the other party harmless from any adverse consequences resulting from the loss or reduction of the existing coverage. For purposes of this subdivision, "health and medical insurance coverage" includes any coverage for which the parties are eligible under any group or individual health or other medical plan, fund, policy, or program.

That said, your situation is a bit more complicated by the fact that your spouse is eligible for medicare, so I suggest you listen to your attorney since he/she knows the all of the specific facts of your case. I simply wanted to clarify that 2337 does not, in itself, relieve you of your responsibility to maintain health insurance until the Judgment is final. Good luck.

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Erin Patricia Farley

Erin Patricia Farley

Family Law Attorney - Petaluma, CA
Answered

A status only judgment is common, and it appears to make sense in your situation. Without knowing the specifics of your case, none of us can give you any more than general guidance. If you have questions, or need additional information, have your attorney explain the pros, cons and options.

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