I would first suggest that he continue go contact Legal Aid. I have had many cases with LA in West. County (if that's where this is), and they've been excellent. Of course, he has to interview them and make sure he likes them, but I've never had a problem with Legal Aid in NY. It's preferable for him to have an attorney help him with this.
Second, he has 20 days to answer the papers, so he's already late, unless he's out of the state, in which he has 30 days to respond. He doesn't have to file an answer -- he can file an appearance to let the court know he's not in default.
As far as contacting her lawyers, it is unlikely that the lawyers will agree for her to be totally responsible for the tax charges, although she should be because there will be penalties for early withdrawal, most likely. The penalties can be high, so of course he should try to get out of that. I doubt her lawyer will go along with it, but he can try. He's better off having an attorney negotiate that point for him.
If his spouse works for a company that employs 20 or more people, then he is eligible to apply for continued health insurance coverage in his employer’s plan under a Federal law known as “COBRA” (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act).
If the company has fewer than 20 employees, he might still be eligible for continued coverage under the mini-COBRA coverage laws of NY. http://www.cobrainsurancedirect.com/new-york/cobra-insurance.html
If his health insurance is through the spouse’s employer, once the divorce is final he will need to obtain health insurance for himself. It is very important that there is no gap in coverage, so he must deal with the issue early in divorce negotiations. The employer will not cover a former spouse. However, as indicated above, he can get the insurance through COBRA, which is medical insurance at a reduced cost. The link is included above.
Please let me know if you have anymore questions. I'm happy to help.
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