Child Support - Establishment, Part 5
Prior posts have discussed how income is calculated and what daycare costs are allowed to affect the child support calculation. This post moves on to the next basic element: healthcare costs.
Since we are concerned here with child support, the cost of providing health insurance for people other than the children does not count. That means that we need to exclude the cost of healthcare insurance coverage for the parents themselves, any adult children, and any children from other relationships. This means that we are usually looking at the difference between self-only or self-plus-one coverage and self-plus-children or family coverage plans. Different employers have different options available for employees, so it usually helps to get a breakdown of all the available plan options from Human Resources.
If there are multiple children covered by a health insurance plan, but not all of them have both parents in common, then the cost has to be split up amongst those children so that only the cost for children whose child support we are calculating are included. As an example, imagine we are calculating how much support Dad owes Mom for child X. Dad provides health insurance for both parents, child X, and child Y. Child Y has a different mother than child X. We would then see how much Dad pays for a family insurance plan and subtract the amount it would cost to just cover himself and Mom. That leaves just the cost for the kids. Since we are only calculating support for child X, though, we divide that amount in half so it corresponds to just the amount for child X.
In addition to insurance costs there are out-of-pocket costs, or unreimbursed medical expenses as we usually to them. The amounts spent on unreimbursed medical expenses are not included in the basic calculation, but the parents will be ordered to split those costs in some fashion. It is usually split in the same percentages as the parties' share of the total income. In other words, if Mom makes twice as much as Dad then Mom has 66% of the total income and Dad has 33% of the total. They would then also share unreimbursed medical expenses in the same percentages.
Please enjoy this disclaimer: The content of this post, indeed of all of my posts, is intended to reference only Virginia law. I am writing this blog to give some idea of the complexities that can underlie family law issues in Virginia and in no way am I giving anyone legal advice here. While I hope these posts will be informative, no one should feel entitled to rely on the information presented here as an authoritative source. Anyone facing a legal issue is well advised to speak to a lawyer face to face to discuss the specifics of that case, rather than relying on general information found on the internet.