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Questions & Answers

Question: My spouse has taken me off health insurance benefits and we are currently in the middle of the divorce process. It is my understanding that my spouse cannot do this until the divorce is final. Is there a way or a law that states my spouse must leave me on health insurance benefits until the divorce has been final?

Answer:

You are correct.  Your spouse is not allowed to remove you from his/her health insurance during the divorce process.  Arizona Revised Statutes, § 25-315 states, (in pertinent part), the following:

25-315. Temporary order or preliminary injunction; effect; definition

A. In all actions for dissolution of marriage, for legal separation or for annulment, the clerk of the court shall pursuant to order of the superior court issue a preliminary injunction in the following manner:

1. The preliminary injunction shall be directed to each party to the action and contain the following orders:

(a) That both parties are enjoined from transferring, encumbering, concealing, selling or otherwise disposing of any of the joint, common or community property of the parties except if related to the usual course of business, the necessities of life or court fees and reasonable attorney fees associated with an action filed under this article, without the written consent of the parties or the permission of the court.

(b) That both parties are enjoined from:

(i) Molesting, harassing, disturbing the peace of or committing an assault or battery on the person of the other party or any natural or adopted child of the parties.

(ii) Removing any natural or adopted child of the parties then residing in Arizona from the jurisdiction of the court without the prior written consent of the parties or the permission of the court.

(iii) Removing or causing to be removed the other party or the children of the parties from any existing insurance coverage, including medical, hospital, dental, automobile and disability insurance.

(c) That both parties shall maintain all insurance coverage in full force and effect.

* * *

5. The preliminary injunction has the force and effect of an order of the superior court signed by a judge and is enforceable by all remedies made available by law, including contempt of court. Rules 65(a)(1) and 65(e) of the rules of civil procedure do not apply to the preliminary injunction.

(Emphasis added).

Check the initial divorce paperwork for your matter.  There should be a "Preliminary Injunction" which details everything listed above.

June 01, 2008