One factor that makes the divorce process complex is determining child support. When the parents can’t agree on who should do what to support the child, the court comes in to decide which parent is responsible for providing child support. One crucial component of child support is health insurance.
As a father providing child support after a divorce, you may want to know if you’re responsible for covering health care costs, especially if you’re not the child’s primary custodian. You may feel unfairly treated if you have to meet additional expenses in the form of healthcare while the child’s mother is capable. Consult fathers’ rights lawyers in Baltimore to explore legal options.
Does the Higher Earner Have to Pay for Health Insurance?
The law requires both parents to provide for their children after a divorce. A judge may order that both parents continue to pay health insurance for the child, depending on the circumstances. The decision on who pays health insurance differs on a case-to-case basis, but in most cases, one spouse is usually responsible for this financial obligation.
Depending on each parent’s financial obligation, paying health insurance for the child often goes to the parent with a higher income. In other cases, the parent with better insurance coverage takes up the responsibility if it benefits the children more.
If your ex-wife has better health insurance coverage but refuses to take up the responsibility, you should consult Baltimore child support attorneys. They can provide legal counsel on the steps to take in your child’s best interest.
Insurance Continuation Rights Notice After Divorce by Maryland Insurance Administration
In support of the fact that the parent with better health insurance coverage can be made to continue with this obligation, the Maryland Insurance Administration issued a notice on the continuation rights after a divorce that states that:
- A divorced person and their dependent child might be eligible to continue receiving coverage under the ex-spouse’s insurance policy if the parties divorce and the ex-spouse provided coverage under a group hospital-medical policy or a health maintenance organization for a minimum of 30 days before the divorce.
- The non-policy holder doesn’t have other similar insurance coverage.
However, for these rights to be upheld, you and your ex-spouse must give written notice to their employer no later than 60 days after the divorce. Both of you will be responsible for paying the cost of the continuation coverage. Before you make this decision, consult Baltimore child support attorneys to understand the risk and explore your options.
A Settlement Agreement with Your Ex-Spouse May Be Possible
Divorcing parties in Maryland can agree on handling their child’s health insurance and medical costs. Courts often give parents room to create parenting plans that work best for them, including health insurance arrangements and child support, before the case goes to trial.
A parenting agreement aims to help you reach a compromise based on the child’s needs and best interests. If your spouse is not agreeable, you should consult men’s rights lawyers in Germantown, MA, to help you file a petition in court to help you achieve the most amicable agreement.
How Does the Court Establish a Child Support Agreement?
If you and your ex-spouse can’t agree on how to take care of your child’s health insurance coverage, the court can decide. The judge will first review the financial statements of each parent and issue an order about the medical insurance for the child.
Non-Custodial Parent and Employer-Provided Health Insurance Coverage
If you’re a non-custodial parent and employed, you may be required to keep your child on your employer-provided insurance plan. If you don’t have employer-provided insurance, the court may require you to get an affordable private plan that covers the child.
If both parents have employer-provided health insurance, one party may be deemed the primary insurance coverage provider and the other secondary. The secondary health coverage provider caters to any additional costs the primary health plan doesn’t cover. The court may use the birthday rule; with the parent whose birthday comes first on the calendar becoming the primary provider.
Income Levels and Health Insurance Coverage
If neither of you can afford health insurance coverage and neither has employer-provided coverage, the child can qualify for state Medicaid or Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP). However, if one parent has a higher income and can afford to meet health coverage costs, the court may determine that they cover all medical expenses for the child.
Court Child Support Orders Are Enforceable
Your ex-wife may still contest this decision, wanting you to provide health insurance even if your income may not allow it. Baltimore child support lawyers can help you show why your ex-spouse should be the primary health insurance provider if they have stronger coverage. They can create a strong argument in court to protect your child’s rights.
Once the court makes the final determination and issues a court order, it becomes enforceable, meaning that you and your ex-spouse must follow the guidelines. If the parent ordered to pay the child’s health care costs fails to, the court may require that they pay all the medical expenses they would have met under a reasonable health coverage plan.
Legal Guidance from an Experienced Men’s Rights Attorney
Child support issues can be complex, especially when the divorcing parties can’t agree on who should pay health insurance for the child. Your ex-wife may want you to take up this responsibility even if she has a better income or more robust employer-provided health coverage. A skilled Baltimore child custody attorney can help if you feel your ex-spouse is acting unfairly.
Our law firm, serving residents in Germantown, Gaithersburg, and throughout Maryland, can provide legal counsel to help you and your ex-spouse reach a consensus. If this is not possible, we can help you file a petition and provide legal representation to ensure your rights are represented during and after the divorce proceedings. We can fight aggressively to help you get a fair child support arrangement. Contact us for a FREE case evaluation.