Who Pays for Medical Insurance in a Tennessee Divorce?

When the parents of a minor child decide to end their marriage the subsequent divorce has both an emotional and a practical impact on everyone involved, including the child. Although the law cannot legislate how the emotional impact of a divorce will be handled it can dictate how many of the practical issues caused by a divorce are handled. Support for the minor child, for example, is of paramount concern in a Tennessee divorce. Along with the basic child support obligation, however, additional expenses such as medical insurance and dental insurance must be addressed in the divorce. If you are facing a divorce you may be wondering “ Who pays for medical insurance in a Tennessee divorce? ”

Not all that long ago child support orders would routinely vary widely from one court to another even when the basic facts of the cases were almost identical. In an effort to ensure a more uniform system of calculating child support orders, many states began enacting “child support guidelines”. Today, most states, including the State of Tennessee, use these guidelines to decide how much income is available for the support and maintenance of a minor child in a divorce and how much each parent must contribute to that support and maintenance.

The most recent Tennessee Child Support Guidelines include medical and dental insurance premiums an uninsured expenses when calculating the basic support amount. Each parent is then required to contribute to the child’s support in an amount proportionate to the parent’s income. For example, if you earn $4,000 a month and your spouse earns $8,000 a month there is $12,000 available to support the child post-divorce. Your share of the income is one-third, or 33 percent while your spouse’s share is two-thirds or 67 percent. You would then be responsible for 33 percent of the cost of medical insurance and expenses and your spouse would be responsible for 67 percent of the costs.

Sometimes, a parent has the option to provide medical and dental insurance through the parent’s employer or through another group policy. When that is the case, the cost is factored in and the parent paying the premiums will essentially be given a “credit” for purposes of calculating child support. Uninsured expenses will still be split according to the parent’s percentage of the total income.

If you have additional questions or concerns relating to how medical and/or dental expenses are handled in a divorce, 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.

Dinah Michael