Charlottesville, VA asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia

Q: In 50/50 custody, can mother refuse to allow children to be on fathers employer health insurance?

In the midst of divorce/custody case. Mother elected to not put children on her employer provided health insurance and instead has them on Medicaid. I am now receiving benefits through my employer and as of 01/01/2022 have enrolled myself and two children in this health care plan. Can mother refuse this?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Sonja Aoun
Sonja Aoun
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Tysons Corner, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Generally speaking, a court will prefer that a child has high-quality insurance if the parents can afford it. For that reason, health insurance premium payments for children are taken into consideration when calculating child support.

You don't mention whether there is a court order or other agreement in place. If this matter is before a court and you can present evidence that you have employer-provided insurance and the mother has opted for Medicaid, then it's possible you will be required to provide the insurance. On the other hand, if the Medicaid insurance available meets the children's needs and costs less, then the court may instead require the mother to maintain that coverage.

If two parents have insurance, the court would choose between the two plans. The other parent isn't prohibited from carrying the additional coverage, but the other parent won't be ordered to help pay for the more expensive plan.

It seems very unlikely that the mother would be able to prevent you from covering the children. But if you want her to use it when the children are with her, you will need to get a written agreement or perhaps even a court order.

In order to fully answer your question, an attorney would need the specific details of your case, which should be discussed in a confidential setting.

Please feel free to contact my office for more information.

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