CanI amend my divorce decree sothat my husbandpays for my health insurance for life?

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CanI amend my divorce decree sothat my husbandpays for my health insurance for life?

I was married for 20 years (1978 to 1998). He filed; just bored being married. I still get $300 month alimony until I pass or remarry but I need him to keep me on his health insurance. I pay $200 month at my job and its killing me. I need that money for groceries/rent. I only make $25K and with his alimony $31K. Its hard; my lawyer didn’t even suggest it. Is it to late to amend this? The divorce was final about 10 years ago.

Asked on March 13, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it's too late to do anything about it--not merely because of the passage of time (though 10 years may be too long to bring a legal action on the decree in any event), but because one party may not unilaterally alter or amend the decree. The decree established the rights of the parties; the time to have brought up whether it was adequate was at the time you were in court, before it was finalized. Even if your financial situation is now bad, that does not give you the right to go back and alter the agreement. (And similarly: suppose you were now making $150k per year; your ex-husband would still have to pay your alimony--good or bad, you and he are bound by the terms of the decree.) Nothing stops you from asking him if he can help you out, but it would be purely voluntary on his part.

You may need to look into whether you qualify for medicaid or some other public health benefit; below is a link that may be helpful to you: http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/medi-cal/Pages/Medi-CalEligibility.aspx

 


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