How the Courts are Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship: Recent Opinions on Reimbursements for Health Insurance Premiums

Upon final court orders in a divorce or custody suit, depending upon if you and the other parent have an agreement, the primary or sole conservator (obligee) can be ordered to maintain or secure health insurance for your child and the obligor, as additional child support, is then ordered to pay a certain amount per month for that insurance. Here’s the trick, many obligors think that if they’re the ones who end up providing insurance for the child, then there is no reason why they should have to pay the monthly additional child support. However, that all depends on the actual language of the previous orders.

In fact, the 14th District Houston Court of Appeals in In the Interest of A.L.S., M.B.S., and F.J.S. ruled just that–unless the previous Court orders specifically say that the obligor’s payment of additional child support for insurance premiums is contingent upon the obligee’s maintaining or securing insurance for the child, then the obligor parent has to continue paying that additional support, even if they end up being the ones to provide the insurance. Lesson learned–be specific in order language to avoid any confusion in the future.