How Are Health Insurance Costs Factored Into Child Support?

When parents divorce, children face serious consequences. Along with splitting time with both parents, they also need food, clothing, education, and medical care. Because of this, courts will factor health insurance costs into child support payments. However, since many variables go into making this determination, parents who will be responsible for paying child support should always consult with a child support attorney.

Insurance Coverage for Children
After a couple divorces, parents are still required to keep their children on a healthcare plan and pay the premiums, except in cases where the court may find this will be an unreasonable financial burden. In most instances, this will only occur if the cost of the premium exceeds five percent of the parent’s gross income.

Consequences of Not Providing Health Coverage
If a parent chooses to not provide health insurance coverage for their children, they may face a variety of serious legal consequences. Since this will be looked at by the court as a breach of child support payment obligations, penalties can include:
–Civil penalties such as fines
–Criminal penalties including jail, probation, fines, or community service
–Court revoking custodial rights
Due to these and other penalties that can arise from these actions, it’s always best to work with a child support attorney who understands the complexities associated with these cases.

Ways to Offset Healthcare Costs
In these situations, many parents wind up paying a child’s health insurance premiums or other medical expenses out of their own pockets. When this occurs, those expenses are used to offset child support payments. While the judge who is calculating the payments will take these expenses into consideration, the parent will have to provide accurate and reliable documentation regarding their out-of-pocket expenditures related to their child’s healthcare.

Additional Healthcare Expenses
Since health insurance will generally not pay for all medical treatment a child may need, the parent who pays for these costs may attempt to seek reimbursement from the other parent. However, since these circumstances can vary, there is no guarantee the other parent will be legally required to provide this compensation.

Since healthcare costs for a child can be very expensive, it’s crucial to hire the services of an experienced and knowledgeable child support attorney. In doing so, you can make sure any child support payments ordered by the court are fair and reasonable, while at the same time ensuring your children’s medical needs are covered.