There are so many i's to dot and t's to cross in a divorce. When kids enter the picture, the details really seem to pile up, and every one of those details plays a role in determining what is in the best interest of the children. Some of those details are related to insurance, and while most people need insurance very few really want to think about it.
In our last post, we were talking about health coverage. If both parents have coverage, they are used to looking at their plans and figuring out which is a better fit for the family. A divorce shouldn't change that. Costs above and beyond premiums, though, should be negotiated.
It is important for parents to remember that health insurance coverage doesn't necessarily end when the child turns 18. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, children can be covered under a parent's insurance up to age 26 if the child lives at home -- this is true even if the child is married, is out of school and is covered under another health plan.
Those 20-something stay-at-home kids are not guaranteed coverage under their parent's car insurance policies, though. Both insurance and family law professionals tell parents that, whether a teen has a car, and any expenses involved in car ownership -- including insurance costs -- should be negotiated between the parents. One expert notes that if a teen is to have auto insurance, the parent with sole custody should put the teen on his or her policy. If custody is shared, the teen should be on each parent's policy.
Insurance isn't difficult to understand, but it is a little nit-picky. The advice of a family law professional can save parents a lot of hassle down the line.
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.