My ex-wife was ordered to maintain health insurance coverage for our child. She has since lost her job and her insurance.
I can’t put our child on my insurance because he does not live with me more than half of the year.
Will I have to provide the health insurance, or can I take her to court to force her to get insurance since she is in violation of the court order?
Health insurance is specific to each state and to individual providers. I do not practice in Texas, so I can only speak in generalities based on my experience.
In general, a court wants to make sure that a child is insured. If one parent’s coverage is lost, it may be appropriate to revisit the order so other coverage may be obtained, either from the other parent or from the state, if available.
Many orders or divorce judgments will specify that both parents share the responsibility of obtaining coverage if the current coverage is lost.
Often, insurance providers have different rules for what a participant may elect from what they will do because of a court order. Your insurance may not allow you to elect to add your son, because it is a voluntary election, if you do not have placement of him for at least 6 months out of the year.
However, if a court orders that you provide insurance, they may comply and allow you to add your son. There is also the possibility that a court may order one or both of you to obtain insurance, out of pocket, and allocate the cost between the parents, depending on what the cost is and what each of your incomes are.
Your previous child support obligation may have also been based on your ex providing insurance. The support may need to be modified to reflect the new circumstances.
You should contact an attorney who is licensed in your state to further discuss the specifics of your situation. Cordell & Cordell does represent clients nationwide. Thank you for submitting your question.
Angela Foy is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisc., office of Cordell & Cordell where her primary practice is exclusively in the area of domestic relations. Ms. Foy is licensed to practice in the state of Wisconsin, the U.S. District Court, and the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Ms. Foy received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University of Notre Dame. She then continued on to receive her Juris Doctor from Marquette University.