What should I know about child medical support in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2019 | Divorce

During an Indiana divorce, there are certain guidelines the court will use to determine how much child support will be paid to the custodial parent. Various factors are considered in this context and medical support is one of the most important. Children need to be adequately cared for and a foundational part of that is ensuring they receive the proper medical care. For the custodial parent who is receiving support and the non-custodial parent who is paying it, it is useful to understand the health care and medical support in the guidelines.

One or both parents will be ordered to have health care for the child. It must be at a reasonable cost. It can be public, like Medicaid, or provided by the employer. It will be considered accessible if it is available in the geographic area in which the child resides.

Other factors will be assessed, including how comprehensive the coverage is, and if it is continuous. Regarding its cost, reasonableness will be a rebuttable presumption. To rebut a presumption that there is available health coverage at a reasonable cost, showing an Affordable Care Act exemption indicating the parent is not required to buy insurance or evidence that the parent earns an income that falls below the tax filing threshold will be enough.

Should the child not be able to get private health coverage for a reasonable price, the parties must pay in cash. The amount will be what is not covered by insurance. In the guidelines, it is based on the 6 percent rule. This rule is contingent on basic health costs paid by the parent who is ordered to pay them. It is generally the parent who does not have parenting time credit and goes up to 6 percent of the total obligation. If there are extraordinary costs, these are uninsured and go beyond 6 percent. If, for example, the child has a chronic illness, its costs are not subject to the 6 percent rule.

There is also a birth expense in which the father must pay a percentage of reasonable costs for the pregnancy and birth of the child. The father will need to pay at least half of the expenses for the birth and postnatal care. It is to be expected that medical care will be part of the support agreement in a divorce. However, many people are uncertain as to what that entails within the divorce guidelines.

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