When we think of domestic violence, we often think of a couple in a heated argument that turns physical. However, violence between partners or former partners does not have to be physical and can occur even during the divorce process. Many divorcing spouses experience economic abuse when their soon-to-be ex attempts to control them financially. Abusive spouses may act out against their partners through insurance.
What is insurance revenge?
During a marriage, both parties are often covered under the same insurance policies and typically least each other as beneficiaries. Spouses may use these insurance policies to harm their partners during a divorce by:
- Secretly canceling the car insurance policy (partner unknowingly continues to drive while uninsured)
- Removing partner’s name from insurance policy
- Destroying property for the purpose of filing a false claim
- Taking money from cash value life insurance policy
- Failing to make payments so policy is canceled
Divorcing spouses in Texas need to protect themselves from the possibility of economic abuse, particularly when it comes to insurance. Experts suggest keeping a careful record of all finances and insurance policies and contact your insurer to ask them to contact you if any changes are made to your policy. You should also make sure to purchase your own car insurance as well as renters or homeowners’ insurance for your new home/apartment, assuming you are moving out of your marital home. It is also important to remove your ex from any group life insurance or health insurance policies and if you are covered under your spouse’s plan, you may be able to continue your existing coverage through COBRA temporarily.
Experts also advise consulting with a family law attorney as soon as possible. An attorney with experience dealing with divorces involving economic abuse can help make sure you are protected financially throughout the divorce process.