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Supporting parents obligated to provide health care in Texas

In Texas, there are numerous aspects to what has to be provided by a supporting parent when a couple shares a child and has parted ways. One important part of the support agreement is health care. It is imperative that a child have adequate medical care. If the supporting parent fails to provide the necessary medical coverage, this might be a violation of the support agreement and leave the parent vulnerable to child support enforcement proceedings.

A court has the power to order that the child receive medical support from the supporting parent. When using the state guidelines, the obligor is expected to provide this support in addition to other forms of support. The amount that must be paid is part of the obligation and will be treated that way. If it is not paid, the parent can be found to have violated the support order.

There are five choices that the parent has to provide for the child's health care needs. If one is not applicable, the next option might be used. First, they can provide insurance through the supporting parent's employment, union membership or an organization he or she belongs to. If this cannot be achieved at a reasonable expense, then they might move onto option two. The second option is to seek insurance through the custodial parent. The obligor will be required to reimburse the custodial parent for the amount that is paid to have the child on the policy. Third, the obligor must attain insurance through a different source. Fourth, it is possible to seek health coverage through a state plan or a state children's plan. Fifth, the obligor must pay the custodial parent each month for medical care. This is alternatively called "cash medical."

When the term "reasonable cost" is considered, it means that the premium for medical care cannot go beyond 10 percent of the person's net income each month. Not providing health insurance will result in the parent being liable for the child's medical expenses independent of whether or not insurance would have covered it or the premiums the other party paid to give insurance to the child. If there are questions about health care, both the supporting parent and the custodial parent should make certain to discuss the matter with an attorney experienced in child support issues.

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