​Divorce (including legal separation and the dissolution of a grandfathered qualified domestic partnership) is a qualifying life event that allows for a change in benefits and covered eligible family members — provided that it is reported through Benefits Connect within 60 days of the divorce (legal separation, dissolution), and required documentation is provided.

If a divorce is not reported within 60 days, you will not be able to make benefits changes until the next annual enrollment (unless you have another qualifying life event) and may be responsible for benefits-related expenses incurred by ineligible family members.

​ See Reporting life events for more information.

Required documentation

Once you report the divorce through Benefits Connect, the Board will contact you for any required supporting documentation. This may include a court order, a domestic relations order, and/or a qualified medical child support order. Once the required documentation has been reviewed by the Board, you will receive an email advising you to return to Benefits Connect to elect/change benefits for yourself and eligible family members and update beneficiaries, if applicable.

Divorce and benefits coverage

Medical benefits

If you are enrolled in Pastor's Participation, medical coverage for your former spouse and affected dependents ends as of the divorce date; under menu options, coverage ends as of the last day of the month in which the divorce is final.

A former covered spouse may continue coverage in the same medical option by electing medical continuation coverage and making the monthly payments.

Dental benefits

Dental coverage for former spouses and affected dependents ends as of the divorce date, regardless of whether you are enrolled in Pastor's Participation or menu options.

Pension benefits

Pension and survivor benefits cannot be paid to a former spouse unless the Board of Pensions has accepted a court order assigning a portion of the benefit to the former spouse (a domestic relations order, or DRO). Based on the court order, an alternate payee (spouse, former spouse, or dependent) may begin to receive assigned retirement benefits any time after the member reaches the earliest retirement age allowed under the plan. Preapproval by the Board of Pensions of any court order is required. 

Additional information

The Benefits Plan and Divorce may offer additional, helpful information including sample court orders to assist counsel.