Is child support tied to insurance? If my employer keeps raising the cost of my insurance that I have to cover for my child, can that lower my child support payment?
While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.
The ways child support is calculated varies greatly from state to state so I strongly encourage you to contact a Cordell and Cordell associate in your state who can advise you about their specific rules, procedures, and calculations.
Most states calculate their child support in one of two ways. Some assign child support as a straight percentage of the non-custodial, or secondary parent, income. This child support is separate from your health insurance obligation and it is very unlikely that a judge will adjust child support without a change in your income too.
Other states calculate child support as a pro rata percentage of both parent’s income. This is how my state of practice, Georgia, operates. These calculations will combine both parents’ income, determine what amount of this joint income is usually spent on child rearing, and assign child support based on the secondary parent’s percentage share of that combined income.
Georgia’s version of the pro rata share system also takes into account many expenses incurred by either parent: daycare, school tuition, and health insurance coverage just to name a few. Depending on which parent pays these expenses, they can cause the final child support obligation to increase or decrease.
In a calculation system like what we have in Georgia, your increase in health insurance coverage (specific to your daughter) could very well be grounds to have your child support obligation re-adjusted. It would have to be a significant increase in costs, however, because you only get a partial credit in the calculator for the health insurance.
You would need to sit down with an attorney experienced with child support and run the exact numbers to know for sure. If it does look like the increase in health insurance significantly impacts the final child support number, the readjustment to your obligation is not automatic. You will need to file a petition to modify child support and get a new order signed by the judge.