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Avoid car insurance liability after divorce

If you are going through a divorce in Ohio, you may think that the issuance of the divorce decree means that you are no longer liable for anything your former spouse does (or fails to do) in the future. Unfortunately, that is not the case, especially in financial matters. For example, if your spouse is ordered to pay a debt and fails to do so, the creditor or collection agency will likely come after you, with potentially disastrous effects on your financial situation.

Similarly, if your spouse has been awarded the family car in the divorce, you should try to get your name off the car. This will ensure that you are not listed on the car title or insurance policy, and protect you from liability in the event of a car-related incident.

For example, if your former spouse was in a car accident and either did not have sufficient car insurance or exceeded his or her insurance limits, you could be held liable for any damages that result. In addition, if your spouse drives uninsured, you could be held liable for any criminal penalties for failure to have car insurance.

There are other car insurance-related considerations you will want to keep in mind after a divorce, as well. First, it is important to tell your insurer about your divorce. State laws vary on this, but the general rule is that an insurer must be informed within 30 days after the divorce is finalized.

Your split will likely result in some changes to your insurance policy. You will probably lose the married couple, multi-vehicle and multi-policy discounts. In addition, if you or your spouse moves after the divorce, your new location may cause changes to your policy costs.

Source: FoxBusiness, "Divorcing? Break the news to your car insurer, too," Penny Gusner, April 3, 2012

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