Do Increases in Health Insurance Premiums Affect Child Support in Maryland?
The Impact of Rising Health Insurance Costs on Child Support
For most people, health insurance is a significant expense. For some people, including many separated/divorced families already struggling to maintain the expenses of two households, health insurance payments can be financially crippling.
So, what happens to child support in the event that this large expense becomes even larger? If one parent experiences an increase in health insurance premiums, can this impact the amount of child support that he or she pays or receives? With health insurance Open Enrollment not far off for many people, it’s important to understand the effect that this major expense has on child support.
Understanding the Relationship Between Health Insurance and Child Support
Child support is a monthly cost that continues throughout a minor child’s life. Child support is typically established using the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. Under the Guidelines, when the court determines the amount of child support a parent is obligated by law to pay in Maryland, the expense of the child’s health insurance paid by that parent is considered. Accordingly, an increase in health insurance premiums could be considered a material change in circumstances justifying modification of child support.
Even a small change in the monthly cost of health insurance can add up to a large amount of money over time. Accordingly, if one parent experiences a material change in circumstances, including a significant increase in health insurance premiums, it may be appropriate to seek a modification of the child support order to reflect the change.
Motions to Modify Child Support Can Sometimes Yield Unexpected Results
It is important to keep in mind that when reviewing a child support order, the court considers the current income and other factors for both parents that have occurred since the initial child support order was issued. Accordingly, an increase in health insurance expenses alone may not result in a decrease in child support. Additionally, under certain circumstances, the amount of child support established by the court can be greater than reflected in the Maryland Child Support Guidelines.
In addition, parents may be surprised by changes to Maryland state child support law since their original child support order was issued.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with Howard County Family Law Attorney Fred L. Coover, Esquire
At Coover Law Firm, LLC, we want to help you make a difficult situation easier. Child support matters can be sensitive and emotionally-charged due to the nature of balancing concerns for the wellbeing of your children with the need to maintain your own financial health. Attorney Fred L. Coover, Esquire has over 30 years’ experience handling child support and family law matters in Howard County, MD. Contact us today at (410) 995-1100 to schedule your free 30-minute consultation in our Columbia, MD office.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post is provided for general educational & informational purposes only. It is not intended to convey legal advice or serve as a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.