Protecting Pension Rights and Employee Benefits in Divorce
At Shapiro Family Law, we often field questions from people concerned about their rights concerning pension plans and employee benefits after divorce.
Our attorneys have answers for these questions and creative solutions to help people deal with the financial stress that accompanies divorce. Call us at 303-695-0200 to schedule a consultation.
Pension Plan Benefits
If you or your spouse has a defined benefit pension plan, it may require valuation to determine if any or a portion of those benefits are marital property.
you may be able to claim a portion of those benefits as marital property. Calculating the amount of those benefits can be a complex undertaking that requires the services of a pension plan or actuarial professional. Some of the factors affecting the value of your pension rights include:
- The date of the marriage
- Whether the participant is vested
- Life expectancy
- Appropriate discount rate to be applied
Other factors that can affect the decision to take one asset over another relate to the total value of the marital estate, spousal maintenance and tax considerations. Our lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of these issues and can advise you.
Health Insurance and Divorce
The cost of health care is a worry for nearly everyone. This is particularly so for people getting divorced. If you are covered by your spouse's health insurance, your coverage will stay in place during the separation period and the divorce process. This will give you and your attorney time to make arrangements for coverage after your divorce becomes final.
Some of your options for obtaining health insurance coverage after divorce are discussed below:
Employer-provided health insurance — You may have chosen coverage under your spouse's employer-provided policy because it was more generous or less costly. If your employer provides coverage, you may wish to switch to that plan. However, you may have to wait until the sign up period to obtain coverage under your employer's health insurance plan.
COBRA coverage — You may be eligible for COBRA benefits under your spouse's policy. This could enable you to continue under the same plan for up to 18 months (in some cases up to 36 months). You may have to pay the full premium amount however.
Purchase your own health insurance — You could purchase health insurance through an exchange. If you choose your own health insurance or COBRA coverage, it may be possible to include the costs of this insurance in your spousal maintenance payment or through a one-time property settlement.
A lawyer at Shapiro Family Law in Denver, Colorado, can review your situation and recommend your best course of action.