Can my wife drop me from her insurance because we are separated?
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Can my wife drop me from her insurance because we are separated?
My wife and I are separated and my wife told me that she is dropping me from her health insurance plan through her work. Can she do that? Is there a period of time that she has to wait before she can do that?
Asked on April 12, 2009 under Family Law, New York
MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 13 years ago | Contributor
Depends on a number of factors. Did she have the insurance before she was married? Did she do it already? Have you sought legal separation? Have you sought a temporary injunction to prevent her from dropping you until you sort things out? Consult with a divorce attorney in your state (try www.attorneypages.com) and also review the following, also check COBRA:
§ 170-a. Special action. a. A spouse against whom a decree of divorce
has been obtained under the provisions of subdivision five or six of
section one hundred seventy of this chapter, where the decree, judgment
or agreement of separation was obtained or entered into prior to January
twenty-first, nineteen hundred seventy, may institute an action in which
there shall be recoverable, in addition to any rights under this or any
other provisions of law, an amount equivalent to the value of any
economic and property rights of which the spouse was deprived by virtue
of such decree, except where the grounds for the separation judgment
would have excluded recovery of economic and property rights.
b. In determining the value of the economic and property rights
described in subdivision a hereof, the plaintiff's interest shall be
calculated as though the defendant died intestate and as if the death of
the defendant had immediately antedated the divorce.
c. If the defendant shall establish that intervening circumstances
have rendered an award described in subdivision a hereof inequitable,
the court may award to the plaintiff such portion of such economic and
property rights as justice may require.
d. If the defendant shall establish that the plaintiff has expressly
or impliedly waived all or some portion of the aforesaid economic or
property rights, the court shall deny recovery of all such rights, or
deny recovery of the portion of such rights as justice may require.
e. Actions under this subdivision may be brought:
(i) Within two years of the enactment of this section, or
(ii) Within two years of the obtainment of the subject divorce,
whichever is later.
§ 50. Property of married woman. Property, real or personal, now owned
by a married woman, or hereafter owned by a woman at the time of her
marriage, or acquired by her as prescribed in this chapter, and the
rents, issues, proceeds and profits thereof, shall continue to be her
sole and separate property as if she were unmarried, and shall not be
subject to her husband's control or disposal nor liable for his debts.
§ 234. Title to or occupancy and possession of property. In any action
for divorce, for a separation, for an annulment or to declare the
nullity of a void marriage, the court may (1) determine any question as
to the title to property arising between the parties, and (2) make such
direction, between the parties, concerning the possession of property,
as in the court's discretion justice requires having regard to the
circumstances of the case and of the respective parties. Such direction
may be made in the final judgment, or by one or more orders from time to
time before or subsequent to final judgment, or by both such order or
orders and final judgment. Where the title to real property is affected,
a copy of such judgment, order or decree, duly certified by the clerk of
the court wherein said judgement was rendered, shall be recorded in the
office of the recording officer of the county in which such property is
situated, as provided by section two hundred ninety-seven-b of the real
(See 236 Part B, 8. discusses medical benefits by insurance): 8. Special relief in matrimonial actions. a. In any matrimonial
action the court may order a party to purchase, maintain or assign a
policy of insurance providing benefits for health and hospital care and
related services for either spouse or children of the marriage not to
exceed such period of time as such party shall be obligated to provide
maintenance, child support or make payments of a distributive award. The
court may also order a party to purchase, maintain or assign a policy of
accident insurance or insurance on the life of either spouse, and to
designate in the case of life insurance, either spouse or children of
the marriage, or in the case of accident insurance, the insured spouse
as irrevocable beneficiaries during a period of time fixed by the court.
The obligation to provide such insurance shall cease upon the
termination of the spouse's duty to provide maintenance, child support
or a distributive award. A copy of such order shall be served, by
registered mail, on the home office of the insurer specifying the name
and mailing address of the spouse or children, provided that failure to so serve the insurer shall not affect the validity of the order. b. In any action where the court has ordered temporary maintenance, maintenance, distributive award or child support, the court may direct that a payment be made directly to the other spouse or a third person for real and personal property and services furnished to the other spouse, or for the rental or mortgage amortization or interest payments, insurances, taxes, repairs or other carrying charges on premises occupied by the other spouse, or for both payments to the other spouse and to such third persons. Such direction may be made notwithstanding that the parties continue to reside in the same abode and notwithstanding that the court refuses to grant the relief requested by the other spouse. c. Any order or judgment made as in this section provided may combine any amount payable to either spouse under this section with any amount payable to such spouse as child support or under section two hundred forty of this chapter.
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