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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.


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Maryland Family Law recognizes eight different grounds for divorce. Adultery, voluntary separation (for at least 12 months), imprisonment (with a sentence of at least three years and at least 12 months already served), and living separate and apart (for at least two years), are among some of the reasons. For the court to grant a divorce based upon any of these grounds, they must be proved in court through evidence and testimony.
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