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Medical Insurance and Divorce in Mississippi
Medical insurance coverage is extremely expensive but almost mandatory in our society of outrageous medical costs. If your spouse or children are covered by your insurance, keep them insured until such time as I tell you that you may drop them from coverage. We would never drop someone from insurance coverage without notifying them, and if you drop them from your coverage and there are significant outstanding expenses, it would be likely that the Judge may assess these against you. Even after the divorce, the employed spouse may be required to keep the spouse and children covered.
It is not uncommon for an employed spouse to keep their unemployed spouse on their medical insurance for a certain period of time after the divorce, but this depends on many factors similar to the various alimony factors listed above. Maintaining medical insurance is also often viewed as an additional child support expense. It is very common for one party to be assessed with the responsibility of covering the children under their health insurance, with each party dividing the deductible and other uncovered expenses. It is also common for one party to be asked to reimburse the spouse who is covering the children with insurance for a percentage of the additional costs for maintaining the children on a health insurance policy.
You should have the right to apply for health benefits through your former spouse's current place of employment. Pursuant to COBRA legislation, non-employees/spouses may be eligible after the divorce is final for certain insurance coverage, but it is often extremely expensive. The insurance can continue up to 36 months, depending on your circumstances. You must apply for this within 60 days of the date that the dissolution was final. Only if you file within that time period will you be eligible for COBRA coverage. Please check with your former spouse or through their employer immediately, as federal statues and deadlines may change.
The Mississippi court determines child custody based on the best interests of the child. The court can award sole or joint custody, and if the child is 12 years old or older, the court considers the wishes of the child.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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