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Who provides health insurance?

An important but often forgotten part of divorcing with children is the aspect of providing health insurance for the children. In some cases, if one parent has been providing health insurance coverage through a job, it is easiest to continue with the status quo and keep this as part of the divorce decree. However, in some cases, parents may disagree about who should be responsible for providing health insurance coverage for the children and who should pay it.

Factors that go in to deciding who will be responsible for providing health insurance coverage for the children include who has provided the coverage in the past, the employment status of both parents and who is paying for other child-related expenses such as child care and the like. While the courts will make a determination by default, it is possible to come to an agreement about who will provide insurance outside of court and have that put in to the order instead if the court approves.

In most cases, if private health insurance is available through an employer, the parent designated as responsible for providing health insurance must take advantage of those programs. While government assistance programs like Medicaid may be available, it's important to understand that this is not to be a replacement when private health insurance is available.

Providing health insurance is an important part of taking care of the needs and best interests of the children. If you have questions about who is supposed to pay for insurance coverage or what you can do if you become ineligible for private health care coverage, an attorney can help.

Source: Colorado Department of Human Services, "Establishing Paternity & Support," accessed Sep. 24, 2015

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