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The Law Offices of Alan L. Finkel.

Not with a divorce, only with a legal separation. Unless you are looking to get remarried, a legal separation likely is a wiser choice, especially if staying on a family health insurance policy is an issue.

We all know that the medical system in New York can be incredibly expensive or make you subject to inferior medical care. Most of the families who live in Suffolk County are working-class families. Their incomes vary between $80,000 or so to $250,000 per household, for a household of four. That usually means husband and wife working. Money is always an issue. Suffolk County is extremely expensive to live in. It is about 90% as expensive to live in Suffolk as it is in Nassau according to Newsday.

The incidence of divorce in Suffolk County is higher than any county in New York State. The isolation created in the era of COVID, couples who were already not happy found out how not happy they really were.

It makes sense for those couples who are looking to make their lives happier by having an escape hatch to enter into a legal separation agreement. As long as a judgment of separation is obtained, (which our office has been doing for over 25 years), the terms of that agreement…. regardless of what it says about custody or finances…. will be enforced by the Supreme or the Family Court but after one year of living together or apart with that legal separation agreement, either party can file for a conversion divorce which basically takes the separation agreement and the judgment of separation and “converts them”, into a divorce.

Unless either of you are looking to remarry within two or so years, (the statute requires that you live separate and apart [which has been defined as in the same house also], for a year or more, and then by purchasing another Index Number with the Court, have that separation agreement converted into a divorce judgment with no contest possible), a legal separation is usually the wiser decision, financially.

In addition to being able to remain on the same health insurance policy during the period of legal separation (which has no expiration date…….many couples who have obtained their legal separations from us remain legally separated after ten or more years), you can also take advantage of the Federal and State tax laws, and file your income taxes together. I do not give tax advice, and strongly recommend that you consult with your accountant.

Upon the granting of that Divorce, health insurance is no longer available for the spouse who isn’t the owner. The children, however, are unaffected by this law, and continue on the family health insurance policy throughout their minority.

Interestingly, children can be covered as children until age 26, (and occasionally until age 29 in New York, under certain conditions), even though custody ends at age 18, and child support at age 21.

Alan Finkel

Contact Us Today (631) 462-3100
(30 Minute Complimentary Zoom Consultation)
“individual or as a couple”