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When parents split, who gets the kids' insurance premiums?

This is the time of year that employees find themselves going through their benefits packages to choose a health plan, to sign up for life insurance and to take care of what amounts to a huge financial outlay for some peace of mind for the coming year. When a couple is divorcing, though, those benefit elections get tricky. In fact, every insurance need for the family requires much closer examination, especially when there are children in the mix.

When the end of a marriage is in the works, the typical approach to providing health insurance for children and teens has been that the spouse with the better policy covered the children, and remaining costs outside that coverage would be split between the two parents. Yet things aren't always that straightforward for parents going through a divorce in Illinois and across the U.S.

One change is that parents are beginning to pay their share of children's health care costs based on income. If one parent earns considerably more, he or she may pay more than half, while the other parent will pay a percentage reflecting their earnings in relation to their ex-spouse's.

In addition, if one parent moves out of state, changes may be in order. If the insurance provider in another state doesn't cover the state in which the children from the former marriage reside, changes will have to be made regarding the children's coverage. Ideally the parents would agree on a plan, yet some may have to return to court to sort out details.

There are other things to keep in mind, and we'll get into those in our next post.

Source: Fox Business, "Split Time: Kids, Custody and Insurance," Susan Ladika, Dec. 6, 2012

Our firm works with families on issues like the insurance arrangements discussed in this post. If you are interested in learning more about our Lakeville, Illinois, practice, please visit our website.

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