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Do I need to cover spouse medical coverage before filing divorce.

Sacramento, CA |

My husband and I have been separted for 6 years. I have always covered all insurances through my employer. We have 3 children that I have also have 100% of time and pay all expenses for. Do I need to continue to cover his medical & other insurances until a divorce is final? I have very little contact with him, and am going to file in the next few months, not sure what California Law is in regards to this.

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Attorney answers 2


When you file for divorce, you are placed under an automatic temporary restraining order which reads as follows: Starting immediately, you and your spouse or domestic partner are restrained from ...2. Cashing, borrowing against, canceling, transferring, disposing of, or changing the beneficiaries of any insurance, or other coverage, including life, health, automobile, and disability, held for the benefit of the parties and their minor children. You will be placed under this restraining order on the day you sign your divorce petition. If you cancel it prior to filing, you would not get in trouble for doing it. However, you are under a fiduciary obligation to your spouse while you are still married to him. Thus, if he has been using the insurance and you suddenly undercut him by canceling it, and there are large medical bills incurred, there is a possibility you could be held liable for some or all of those bills on a theory of breach of fiduciary duty. If he has his own insurance, they you would probably be safe canceling it but be careful.

Michael is in San Jose, California and can be reached at 408-295-4232 or at Consultation fees, rates and retainers vary based on need and ability to pay.


If you do decide to cancel his insurance prior to filing for divorce, give him written notice of your intentions. You should explain to him any financial hardships that the coverage is causing you. It will also be a good idea to find out what his insurance situation would be if you were to take him off of your policy. This may be a way to show that you did not cancel his insurance in bad faith prior to filing for divorce.

Attorney in Sacramento, CA. (916) 254-9825. The information provided is general in nature and not meant to be legal advice.

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