Getting Separated or Divorced

Becoming legally separated, divorced or terminating a domestic partnership* can have an impact on your benefit enrollment.  Be sure to consider the following:

1. Remember that support is available to help you with this transition through the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program through Carebridge.

2. Changes to your benefits

  • You have 31 days from the date of the divorce or legal separation to make changes to your benefits.
    • You must remove your former spouse and any former dependents from medical, dental/vision, life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance coverage when they lose eligibility. If you are required by a court decree to provide your former spouse or dependents with coverage, you will need to make alternate arrangements, such as paying for coverage they may be eligible for under another employer’s plan. A court’s requirement to provide coverage does not alter the benefits eligibility policy for the University’s plans.  Any family members whose coverage is terminated will be offered COBRA.
    • Enroll in medical, dental or vision coverage (with proof you lost coverage under the other plans).
    • Increase or decrease your health care and dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSA), as applicable.
    • Increase or decrease your life and AD&D insurance.
  • Contact HR Shared Services to make any of these changes.  Failure to remove an ineligible dependent timely may result in financial repercussions.
  • You will need to provide a copy of your separation or divorce documentation from the court to terminate coverage for a legal spouse.  If you are terminating coverage for a domestic partner, you must complete the Termination of Domestic Partnership form [PDF].
  • Review the Remitted Tuition Policy and Dependent Tuition Policy to determine any impact on a former spouse or dependent who is using benefits at the time of the legal separation or divorce.
  • Consider any changes you need to make to your voluntary retirement contributions or auto and home insurance.

3. Review and update your beneficiaries

  • You may wish to update your beneficiary designations [PDF] for basic & supplemental life and AD&D insurance.
  • Typically, your spouse was the beneficiary for your 403(b) retirement account, unless he or she signed written consent for you to name someone else as the beneficiary of more than 50% of your account.  If you are no longer legally married, you should consider reviewing your beneficiary(ies) to ensure that your wishes are followed. If you had previously designated your spouse as your beneficiary, your account will still be paid to him or her unless you take action to update your designation.  If you die without having a named beneficiary, your account balance will be paid to your estate. Call TIAA at 855.842.2873 (TTY: 800.842.2755) or visit for assistance.

4. Update your name, address, emergency contact, and payroll tax withholding, as needed

  • By logging into MySlice, you can update your address, phone number, email, emergency contact and military status.
  • While in MySlice, you can also update your federal and state tax withholding status.
  • You can add a preferred name, which will display in many University software systems, including as your email display name. To change your name in University records, you must provide a copy of your new Social Security card issued in your new name and submit a completed name change form [PDF] to HR Shared Services.

Should you have any questions, or require accommodations to access any information on this webpage, please reach out to HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042.

*For some benefits, the termination of a domestic partnership may also permit enrollment changes; however, federal tax regulations or policy limitations may apply.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this website is accurate. However, benefits are governed by legal documents (which, in certain circumstances, may include insurance contracts). If there is any difference between the information in this website and the official documents, the official documents will control. As is the case with all of Syracuse University’s employee benefit plans, the University reserves the right to modify or terminate these benefits at any time.