How Is Medical Support Handled in Texas?
We are often asked if health insurance is included in child support in Texas. While the courts may order one parent to make health insurance or medical payments, it is not included in the basic child support calculation. Under Texas Family Code § 154.064, medical and dental support is considered an additional amount on top of the amount already calculated for child support.
Furthermore, according to § 154.182, the courts will issue an order for medical support to one of the child’s parents (the obligor), and that they will “give priority to health insurance coverage available through the employment of one of the parties if the coverage is available at a reasonable cost.” Other options for providing medical support to a child can include paying the other parent for the cost of health insurance coverage or paying cash support if the child receives Medicaid. For uninsured medical expenses, both parents are generally ordered to split the cost 50/50.
Typically, the parent ordered to pay child support will be the one also ordered to pay for the child’s health insurance (referred to as medical support). In Texas, this is most commonly the non-custodial parent.
What Happens When a Parent Refuses or Stop Paying Required Medical Support?
Just as a parent must adhere to their basic child-support order, they must also adhere to any orders to pay medical or dental support. When they refuse to do so or cancel a child’s health coverage, they can be held legally accountable. This is done through the enforcement process. If your child’s other parent has stopped paying for your child’s health insurance or they have canceled your child’s health insurance policy, you should reach out to an attorney right away for help.
Keep reading to learn how enforcement works.
Enforcement of Medical Support in Texas
In Texas, family court order enforcement may be handled by a private attorney or the Office of the Attorney General. When a parent fails to make their court-ordered child support payments, including required medical support payments, several different actions may be taken to enforce the order.
Common enforcement methods include:
- License suspensions
- Passport denials
- Credit Bureau reporting
There is also the option to hold the parent failing to make payments in civil or criminal contempt. When someone is held in civil contempt, they will be assessed a fine for each missed payment and/or a specific number of days that must be served. Meanwhile, criminal contempt cases result in the offending party receiving a jail sentence until they comply with the court order and pay the unpaid child support in full or pay a certain amount of owed support assessed by the courts.
How to Seek Enforcement
If your child’s other parent is refusing to pay court-ordered medical support, you should reach out to our law firm right away. Hunt Law Firm knows how difficult these cases can be, and we have helped countless people in similar situations. We help our clients identify all of their legal options, including both enforcement actions and modification requests, and help them determine the best path for their situation. We are prepared to help you, too.
To schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys, contact us online or by phone.