How Healthcare Premiums Impact Child Support Calculations in New Jersey

Health Insurance is one of the collateral items that must be considered when providing for a child’s needs. Among divorced parents, there are several ways to handle who pays for the children’s healthcare.

How Healthcare Premiums Impact Child Support Calculations in New JerseyChild support issues are a common concern during divorce proceedings. It’s a fact that maintaining two households is more expensive than one. While the court strives to ensure the minor children’s standard of living remains stable after a divorce, this is often not a feasible economic reality. In New Jersey, it’s a legal requirement for both parents to support their children according to their financial capacity. New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines provide the standard for child support payment calculation and other aspects of child support.

There is a common misconception that the non-custodial parent is automatically responsible for the majority of the support amount. However, it’s important to note that several other factors are also taken into consideration in the child support calculation. These include the division of parenting time, the cost of childcare, and the number and ages of the children. Each parent’s earning capacity and economic standing in terms of income, assets, and standard of living are also important. Each parent’s age and health are included and existing child support obligations from prior children are also taken into consideration.

Understanding the Impact of Healthcare on Child Support Payments

If the non-custodial parent already has the children on their insurance policy, they can receive a reduction in support payments based on how much they pay for the child’s insurance. If the custodial parent provides the healthcare coverage, they can receive an increase in their child support to balance out the cost. When a parent adds a child to their healthcare plan, whatever additional cost is created can then be reflected in how much the parent will pay or receive in support.

There are usually two ways to calculate health care premiums for children in a divorced family: the marginal cost of coverage and the cost per child. If the parent pays for the child’s healthcare coverage as part of their plan through their employer, they must calculate the amount paid for the child apart from the amount paid in total. For example, if the overall monthly payment is $400 for the employee and $600 for the employee and their child, the cost is calculated at $200. If the parent is unable to calculate the exact amount paid for the child, the per capita cost is calculated by dividing the monthly payment by the number of people covered. For example, if the monthly payment is $900 for a mother and two children, the per capita cost is $300 per person or $600 for the children.

Reaching Compromise on Health Insurance Decisions in New Jersey Divorce Cases

When Coverage is Provided by a Parent’s Employer

Usually, parents are willing to compromise to make sure their children receive healthcare. The custodial parent may agree to keep the children on their insurance, and the non-custodial parent may help with that expense. Conversely, if the non-custodial parent opts to insure the children, that cost will be taken into account in the support amount.

Sometimes, a parent may have health insurance coverage from their employer, and the cost is the same for one person or the entire family. Because there is no additional cost for the children’s coverage, the support amount would not change. Sometimes, one parent’s health insurance is chosen over the other because the plan’s coverage provides better benefits.

Qualifying for Children’s Health Insurance Programs

The Affordable Care Act provides private healthcare that can be bought for children whose parents do not have access to healthcare by their employer. If neither parent has access to healthcare for their children through their employer and they cannot afford to buy additional coverage for their children, government programs such as Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can provide coverage for those who are financially eligible.

Resolving Disputes about Children’s Healthcare Coverage

When parents cannot agree on who will cover their children under their health insurance plan, they must find a solution. Many opt for mediation, a process wherein a neutral third party helps the parents to negotiate a solution. If mediation isn’t fruitful, a motion can be filed by either party of a judge to decide. In keeping with the child’s best interests, a guardian ad litem can be assigned to represent the child and add input to the process.

Settling Disputes Over Child Healthcare Coverage in Fort Lee, NJUnreimbursed Medical Expenses for Your Child

The custodial parent is responsible for $250 annually in unreimbursed medical expenses. After that threshold, the parents are responsible for their part of unreimbursed expenses. If the custodial parent earns 30% of the parents’ combined income, they are responsible for that percentage of medical costs, while the non-custodial parent is required to pay the rest.

A Knowledgeable NJ Child Support Lawyer at The Montanari Law Group Can Help You Manage Children’s Health Insurance Cost Matters

New Jersey’s child support laws are complex. It is hard to know exactly how to proceed, especially with the difficulties experienced during a divorce. With our help, you can negotiate a plan with your co-parent that will provide the health insurance coverage your children are entitled to. We know they are your greatest concern, and having proper health insurance is in their best interests.

Our attorneys are well-versed in family law, and highly successful in reaching custody and child support agreements that work for everyone involved in Wayne, West Orange, Hawthorne, Verona, Montclair, Short Hills, Elmwood Park, and surrounding areas in Passaic, Bergen, Hudson, and Essex County, NJ. Our focus is getting you what you need to give your children the absolute best care possible.

Call us today at (973) 233-4396 or fill out a contact form to schedule a free consultation and tell us how we can best serve you.


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