Who Pays for the Child’s Medical Insurance in a Divorce?

15019When a marriage ends in divorce, there are a number of decisions that must be made during the divorce proceedings. Some of those decisions relate to the divisions of assets and debts while others relate to the continued support of minor children if there are any. If you are contemplating divorce, or have already been served with notice that your spouse has initiated divorce proceedings, you may have a number of questions and concerns relating to issues affecting your children, such as “Who pays for the child’s medical insurance in a divorce?” Because each divorce involves a unique set of facts and circumstances it is always best to consult with an experienced Tennessee family law attorney for specific answers to questions; however, it may also help to have a basic understanding of how subjects such as medical insurance for the children are typically handled in a divorce.

The Tennessee Child Support Guidelines are the starting point for all issues related to child support, including things such as payment of medical and dental insurance. Although the Guidelines can be complex, the basic premise is this:

The income of both parents is added together to determine how much money is available each month for the support of a minor child. The income of both parents is then compared to determine how much each parent contributes to the whole. For example, if you make $4,000 a month and your spouse earns $6,000 per month there is $10,000 each month available, of which you contribute 40 percent and your spouse 60 percent. The Guidelines then decide how much money should be used each month to support the child. You are then required to contribute 40 percent of that figure and your spouse 60 percent.

Adjustments can be made to the figure arrived at for child support for a variety of reasons, including payment of medical and dental insurance premiums. As a general rule, the law expects the parent who has access to insurance to use that insurance and pay the premiums. For instance, if you have access to excellent insurance through your job you would likely be required to keep that insurance for your child and would be given a “credit” on the support you are required to pay in the amount you pay in premiums. If your spouse has access to better insurance, he/she would likely be ordered to insure the child(ren) and would then receive the “credit” for support. When neither parent has access to employer sponsored insurance the court will usually decide who is better able to afford the insurance and order that parent to keep the children insured. That parent will then receive the appropriate “credit” for child support purposes

If you have specific questions or concerns involving child support issues, consult with the experienced Tennessee family law attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.

Stan Bennett
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