According to Georgia family law, children can often be caught in the middle of the case. To ensure that they are taken care of properly, the court will strive to protect them and ensure that their needs are met. Part of that is determining the amount of child support. The payments are designed to cover various aspects of life, including a place to live, clothing, proper nutrition and addressing the children’s needs for school and extracurricular activities. A fundamental aspect of child support is health insurance and paying for health care. Understanding what the law says about this in the context of the support order is imperative for everyone involved.
What does that law say about a child’s health care in a child support order?
Health insurance is calculated as part of the basic child support obligation that the courts use as a baseline. The formula accounts for health insurance, childcare costs, parents’ income and if there are issues at play that should alter the amount. To account for these factors, the court uses an adjusted support obligation template. Because the guideline does not account for these payments, the calculations are added later.
As part of the order, the court will consider uninsured healthcare expenses. That includes treatments that are not covered by insurance, copayments that must be made and other costs. Examples might include if the child needs braces or the coverage does not include eyecare.
If the parents do not have their own healthcare plan through their employment or via other means, the court will determine if there is healthcare coverage available at a reasonable cost for purchase by either parent. If it is, the court will stipulate that the child must be covered on that plan. When parents are paying for healthcare insurance, this too will be adjusted when calculating the amount paid in child support. This is divided between the parents on a proportional (pro rata) basis and categorized as “additional expenses.”
For child support issues including health care, having help is essential
The child’s best interests are paramount in a family law case. Their healthcare coverage is obviously essential to ensure they are cared for and healthy. Still, there may be disagreements between the parents as to how this is paid, who is responsible for what and how the order is impacted by deviations from the basic guidelines. Whether it is the paying parent or the receiving parent, it is important to know what the law says and how to navigate any concerns they might have. It is wise to have experienced help throughout the process.