When you divorce in New York, the court divides every asset you own. This may include things that you may not think of, such as insurance policies. An insurance policy can be very valuable. In some cases, the court may even include such insurance policies in alimony awards, according to Insure.com. You want to be sure that you take the right steps to protect any policies you have and make sure you get access to any policies in your divorce.

As soon as you decide to divorce, you should make changes to beneficiaries and end any joint policies. It is important to do this before filing for your divorce. You cannot get rid of a policy once you file. You also must include policies in your assets when you do file.

You may run into issues if you are on your spouse’s health insurance through his or her employer. Once your divorce is final, you will need to get other insurance. You may be able to get COBRA, so look into that prior to the finalization of your divorce so you have a clear plan of how to proceed.

You can separate insurance policies that cover liability, such as your auto insurance. These are not worth any value, so they are not an asset. The court will focus on valuable policies, namely life insurance policies when dividing assets.

Make sure that you handle each policy properly. You should determine which ones are assets that you must declare to the court and which ones are not. The ones that do, you need to handle accordingly so you and your spouse are no longer linked by them. This information is for education and is not legal advice.