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Michigan Family Law Blog

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Divorcing for Medical Reasons

More often than not, Oakland County Michigan divorce attorneys hear clients complain that they want a divorce for common reasons like infidelity, addiction, abuse, or even because they just grew apart. Whatever the reason the marriage broke down, they want out—and the sooner the better. Many, especially those without children together, hope never to see their exes again.

But sometimes, couples who are happily married also get divorced.

Why would spouses who are still madly in love seek a divorce? Because financial ruin may be the couple’s only other alternative.

What is a medical divorce?

Medical divorce is a term often used for this scenario and these cases are heartbreaking. Each couple’s situation is different, but when the costs of medical care and long-term care skyrocket, sometimes couples need to make the difficult choice to divorce or go bankrupt. In fact, “two-thirds of bankruptcies are due to medical bills…and in more than three-fourths of these medical bankruptcies, the family had health insurance.”

Consider an older couple who has been happily married for decades and has wiped out their savings on medical care (with insufficient time left to replenish it) or where one spouse has dementia and needs long-term care. Or the young family with a special needs child with extremely costly medical needs, but the parent makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid.

Medical divorce is not always the only option. Medicare is generally available to most qualifying people after age 65. Sometimes, couples may avoid medical divorce if they have individual healthcare policies, self-insurance policies, or COBRA policies—though these can be expensive, too. Sometimes, a legal separation will suffice depending on the policy’s terms. Long-term care insurance, if purchased before illness strikes, may help avoid a medical divorce, too. So, seeing a family law attorney is a smart first step.

Contact Our Michigan Divorce Attorney Today

If you’re considering getting divorced or have questions about any aspect of family law, the legal team at Cameron C. Goulding Family Law and Mediation P.L.C. can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our office in Rochester, Michigan, we practice exclusively in the area of family law and provide legal services to families throughout Oakland, Macomb, Genesee, Livingston, Lapeer and Wayne counties.


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