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Can the Court Require Health Insurance for a Child or a Spouse?
Yes, in Maryland the Court can require one spouse to continue or reinstate (if cancelled) the other spouse on their group health insurance policy.
A spouse can usually be included under a group health insurance policy until the date of the parties' divorce. Upon divorce, a former spouse typically has the right to elect up to 3 years of continuing coverage under the group policy (also known as "COBRA" coverage). Often, COBRA coverage costs substantially more than the group coverage provided before the parties' divorce.
Under Maryland and federal law, the Court has the discretion to allocate between spouses the costs of providing spousal group health insurance benefits, either pendente lite (while the divorce litigation is pending) or at the time of the divorce. Such an allocation can be required in addition to any alimony or child support awarded by the Court.
Under Maryland law, child support is determined based on the Income Shares Model. Therefore the monthly support amount for the child is proportionally shared between the two parents based on their incomes, past W-2s, and child support worksheets. One parent will then pay the other parent his or her share of child support. Considerations will also be made for existing debt, property settlement, mortgages, other children or any other financial considerations.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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