Benefits - Event: Getting Divorced


Life Event: Getting Divorced, Separated or Dissolving a Domestic Partnership

Step 1 - Change medical/dental/vision coverage
You can remove a domestic partner from City benefits on the date you file a Termination of Domestic Partnership form and a Benefits Change Form. Their coverage will end the last day of the month in which you file the form. If you obtain a legal separation, benefits end whether or not you divorce. If you divorce and did not first file for legal separation, you must continue to pay premiums for your spouse until the divorce is final. Their coverage will end the last day of the month in which the legal separation was recorded or the divorce was final. You will have 31 days after the date a legal separation is recorded, or the divorce is final, to notify your department HR representative to discontinue premium payments. If you do not notify your department of the termination of domestic partnership, legal separation or divorce within the 31 days, you will have to continue paying premiums until the next open enrollment.

Note: If you or your spouse moves out when divorce papers are filed, you are not "legally separated." A legal separation is an action that requires paperwork (different from divorce papers) be filed with the court.

A spouse or domestic partner who loses coverage may elect to continue health care coverage through Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). To elect COBRA, he or she must:
  • Complete and submit an application within 60 days of the qualifying event
  • Make the first premium payment within 45 days of electing coverage

To drop medical or dental coverage for your former spouse or domestic partner you must complete and submit:
  • A Benefits Change Form and
  • A Statement of Termination of Marriage/Domestic Partnership Form


Step 2 - Make other changes to your benefits
You may also cancel any optional coverage such as life insurance, supplemental life insurance, AD&D or Supplemental Long-Term disability at any time. Coverage will cease at the end of the month in which your divorce or your domestic partnership dissolves. Provide updated personal information to your Department's Human Resources Representative.

Step 3 - Update your beneficiary information
This includes: life and AD&D insurance and the Deferred Compensation Plan. Remember to check the beneficiary election for your sick leave and retirement plan balance in your non-City plans too, such as IRAs and personal life insurance plans. Send updated personal information to your Department's Human Resources Representative or update beneficiary information on line through Employee Self Service.

Step 4 - Change tax withholding information
You may need to change the amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck by submitting a new W-4 statement to your Department's Human Resources Representative or Payroll office for processing. You can also change your W-4 statement on line using Employee Self-Service.

Page: http://www.seattle.gov/personnel/benefits/life/divorced.asp
Printed: 12/20/2014 7:50AM