According to the Georgia Civil Code, “The amount of the cost for the child’s health insurance premium shall be determined and added as an adjustment to the basic child support obligation as “additional expenses” whether paid directly by the parent or through a payroll deduction. (iii) The total amount of the cost for the child’s health insurance premium shall be divided between the parents pro rata to determine the total presumptive amount of child support and shall be included in the Child Support Schedule D — Additional Expenses and written order of the court together with the amount of the basic child support obligation.” O.C.G.A. 9-6-15 2(A)(ii)(iii) It is important to note that if the employer is paying for the health insurance that amount will not be included in the deviation on the worksheet. The non-custodial or custodial parent can be the one paying for the children’s health insurance. The Court looks for which parent, “… has health insurance reasonably available at a reasonable cost.” O.C.G.A. 9-6-15 (2)(B)(i) In some cases neither parent may be able to currently provide health insurance to the children and they are enrolled in programs such as Peachcare. It should be noted Peachcare or Medicaid does not fulfill, “…the requirement that the final child support order provide for the child’s health care needs.” O.C.G.A. 9-6-15 (2)(B)(iii) Even if the children are enrolled in these healthcare programs the judge may still order one of the parents to go out and get other health insurance for the children.
How does the Health Insurance Deviation affect the child support obligation?
As stated above the health insurance amount for both parties in section D of the Child Support Worksheet. Since there are two mandatory deviations the child support amount after both health insurance costs and work-related child care expenses are added is referred to as the “Adjusted child support obligation.” An example is the father pays for the health insurance for the kids. The father is the non-custodial parent and the Mother is the custodial parent. This means the father pays child support to the mother. His pro-rata share comes out to $150. The Mother’s amount for the health insurance deviation will be $0. When the program is calculating the child support obligation, the health insurance expense will adjust it downward. This does not mean that his child support will decrease by $150. A deviation is not dollar for dollar. If you are ready to speak with an experienced Marietta Family Law attorney about your child support case, give us a call toll-free at 866-527-2630 to set up a consultation.