Health Insurance and Child Support
For any parent going through a divorce, one of the most important and pressing matters is determining child support. It is important to understand how health insurance can impact the overall child support amount and what issues should be taken into consideration when figuring out how to factor it in.
The attorney at E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC can help you determine the appropriate amount for child support based on the unique facts of your case. Noreen Banks-Ware can explain who will be required to provide health insurance coverage for your child and how insurance-related costs will affect the child support amount. With an office in Lithonia, Georgia, Attorney Banks-Ware provides legal counsel to divorced and separated parents in Covington, Conyers, Decatur, Lawrenceville, and McDonough.
Factors Considered in Establishing Child Support
In Georgia, there are several factors that influence how much and for how long child support is paid. These factors include but are not limited to:
Each Parent’s Income & Number of Children
In Georgia, the court considers both parents’ incomes when determining child support amounts. The court will also consider the number of children involved when calculating child support obligations. The more children involved in a case, the higher the amount of child support likely to be ordered.
Parenting Time & Health Insurance Costs
The amount of parenting time given to each parent is another factor taken into consideration when deciding on an appropriate level of child support. Additionally, one or both parties may be required to provide health insurance coverage for their children through their employer or at an additional cost to them. If health insurance is not provided by either parent’s employer, then they may be ordered to pay additional costs for health insurance coverage for their children until they reach 18 years old.
Medical & Education Expenses
Medical expenses associated with the care and well-being of your minor children can also be taken into account when calculating child support in Georgia. Expenses such as doctor visits, dental visits, glasses/contacts, and other related medical expenses can all be factored into your existing child support agreement if deemed necessary by the courts. Education expenses such as tuition fees and extracurricular activities can also be included if requested by either party during negotiations or litigation.
How Health Insurance Is Factored Into the Support Amount
Every state has different guidelines for calculating child support, and many also take health insurance costs into account when determining the final amount owed. If one parent pays for health insurance coverage for the children, those costs are usually taken into consideration in determining the final payment amount. For example, if one parent pays $200 per month for health insurance, that will likely be subtracted from their total monthly income before calculating their contribution to child support payments.
In addition to subtracting health insurance premiums from a parent’s income when calculating child support, additional medical care costs may also be considered. These may include co-pays or deductibles that are required by the health insurance provider, as well as any other unreimbursed expenses related to the child’s healthcare needs.
Generally speaking, these costs are split between both parents according to their respective incomes — meaning that each parent contributes an equal percentage of their income towards these additional medical care costs associated with their children’s care.
If a parent was ordered to provide health insurance for the child but failed to do so, that parent would be responsible for any healthcare-related costs that the insurance would have covered.
The Tax Implications of Health Insurance
When providing health insurance coverage for your children through your employer’s plan, there can be tax implications to consider as well. Depending on your tax filing status and other applicable circumstances, you may be able to receive a tax credit or deduction for providing health coverage for your dependents — including any amount you pay towards premiums or additional medical care costs related to their care.
Speak With an Experienced Attorney
If you are contemplating or already going through a divorce that involves children, you may have questions about child support. Noreen Banks-Ware can explain how health insurance factors into the child support award and what you can do to protect your rights as a parent who pays or receives child support in Georgia. Contact Attorney Banks-Ware’s office in Lithonia, Georgia, to request a consultation today.