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Post-Divorce Insurance Considerations

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A divorce brings significant changes, and it takes time for individuals to reorganize their affairs. Insurance coverage will commonly change when a divorce takes place, and potential issues and increased financial obligation should be recognized and prepared for in advance.

Medical Insurance

In most cases, insurance coverage for children will not be interrupted as they will be eligible to continue coverage under either parent’s employer’s health insurance policy. The parent providing insurance coverage for the children is not required to be the custodial parent. In any case, as part of the divorce settlement, insurance coverage for the children should be clearly defined.

On the other hand, new divorcees typically must seek new coverage once a divorce is finalized. Those who had insurance provided by their spouse’s employer, and who do not have access to their own employer’s insurance plan, must replace that coverage. Though generally a more expensive option, COBRA is available to an employee’s ex-spouse for up to 36 months following a divorce. For many individuals, private insurance is the preferred, more cost-effective option.


When a child is born to an unmarried father, it is extremely important that he take the necessary steps to protect his rights. It is presumed in Illinois that the husband is the legal father of the child born to a married woman. However, automatic legal rights are not given to the biological father when a child is born to an unmarried woman, even if the relationship between the mother and father has been long-term. Only by legally establishing paternity may a biological father seek custody or visitation rights.

Legal Paternity Must be Established

Establishing paternity should be done as soon as possible after the birth of the child. Under Illinois law, there are three ways in which an unmarried father can establish legal paternity.

If unmarried parties are in agreement on paternity of the child, both parents may sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. This is a legal document that may be provided to the parents for signature when the child is born. This form is also available online or from the Department of Human Services, Child Support Services, or from the County Clerk’s office. The Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity is the simplest method of establishing paternity that is recognized in Illinois. However, it requires both parties’ agreement.


Telling Children About Divorce

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When parents reach the difficult decision to divorce, they are faced with the emotional task of deciding on the best time and way of explaining the decision to their children. It is necessary to be open and honest with children, keeping in mind their ages and developmental levels. In all cases, children need to be reassured that they are not to blame for the divorce, will continue to maintain relationships with each of their parents, and, above all, they are loved.

Carefully Consider Timing

When a marriage breaks down, children may already have a sense that something is not right in their family. They have the right to know the situation as soon as practical, as it will result in changes in their lives that will require time for adjustment. However, the conversation should be carefully timed.

Delaying the conversation until some final decisions have been made regarding changes in living situations and parenting time will help parents deliver a clear message and answer questions. Also, it is in the children’s best interest for both parents to put their differences aside and choose a time to present the news together in a unified and supportive way.


A divorce is an emotional and trying life change, but finding the right attorney is an important first step in the process. A divorce attorney who has experience and expertise fitting your unique situation may expedite the divorce process, and make the transition from marriage to single life more manageable.

Asking the right questions during your first phone conversation or meeting with a prospective lawyer is key in determining whether you will be able to establish a successful attorney-client relationship.

Experience is Critical

Don’t assume that every attorney you contact has the experience that is necessary to handle your case. How long an attorney has been in practice, and more importantly, how many cases they have handled is perhaps the most obvious first question. Each new case presents a unique set of obstacles and situations, requires additional research and adds to an attorney’s knowledge of divorce law. You will want to find an attorney who has been in practice for some time, and who has handled an extensive number of cases.



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At the Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C., located in Naperville, Illinois, our goal is to listen carefully to our clients, recognize their interests and concerns, and assist them in achieving settlements that meet their best interests, especially those of their children.

If you are confronting divorce and divorce-related issues, you will be faced with many questions and concerns that you never confronted before. We feel it is very important to determine the right approach to take in a divorce. Many factors must be considered, and it is crucial for clients to have the information they need to make informed decisions throughout the process. We have created this blog to share information that we feel is valuable to readers in the various stages of divorce.

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