A new product has just come on the market that may have piqued your interest if you are going through a divorce: Divorce Insurance. That’s right, you read correctly, divorce insurance actually exists!
A man named Richard Zizian, a legal educator and holder of a California Juris Doctorate (not a licensed or practicing attorney), has collaborated with Great American Insurance Group to develop a new program called Marital Settlement Agreement Insurance, or “MSAI.” Zizian, after going through a divorce himself, understood the emotional toll that a divorce can take. An emotional toll which, he states, makes one more susceptible to be laid off from employment.
While the broad term “Divorce Insurance” may be a bit misleading, MSAI is actually a supplement to unemployment insurance which provides coverage in the event that a child and/or spousal support obligor loses his or her job and is unable to meet his or her support obligations. So, it doesn’t insure you against getting a divorce- sorry, the chances of that are still the same as ever- but it is meant to insure you against being unable to pay spousal and/or child support in the event that you are temporarily unemployed.
Here are some quick facts about the program:
- Monthly premiums vary depending on the obligor’s field of employment. For example, a person working in the healthcare field will pay lower premiums than someone in the construction field due to the differing likelihood of unemployment in those fields;
- The obligor must be collecting unemployment in order to be able to receive the benefit of this policy, which is paid directly to the supported spouse;
- The policy covers support obligations from a minimum $433 per month to a maximum $9,000 per month;
- Benefits can be collected for a maximum 26 weeks per year, but cannot be collected until 2 weeks after unemployment benefits have begun being paid by the state unemployment system;
- There is a 6-month waiting period after first obtaining the policy before benefits can be collected;
- The obligor must make a minimum salary per year to be eligible for the program. In California the yearly minimum is $44,000.
Please note that this article is not in any way meant to endorse the MSAI product, it is just meant to bring you information about a thought-provoking new service in the divorce practice area. As always, it is important that you consult with an experienced divorce attorney to better understand your support obligations arising from divorce, so that you can make an informed decision regarding matters such as these. Keep in mind that many support orders adopted by a Marital Settlement Agreement are modifiable when a change of circumstances arises (like the loss of a job). So, a product like this may not be for everyone.
Feel free to contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding property division and support. Nancy J. Bickford is the only Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) in San Diego County who is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.