The Court Decides
Video Transcribed: “Which parent picks health insurance coverage for a child involved in a custody case in Oklahoma?” I’m Oklahoma Lawyer James Wirth. That’s the question that we have. There’s a custody battle going on, a paternity case, a divorce case. The court’s going to order that health insurance be provided for the child, but who gets to decide which coverage it is. The answer is, that it’s up to the court’s discretion depending on the circumstances.
If both parties are working and both parties have health insurance through their employer available to them, you can go to a temporary order hearing, you can go to a final trial and each parent can say why it should be theirs if he wants it to be their coverage. However, the statute does put in there that there is a preference. Let me read that to you.
This is all part of our series regarding Oklahoma child support and most of it is statutory. That’s the case here. We’re looking at Title 43, section 118F. The part that we’re looking at deals with specifically the cost of health insurance and who gets to make that decision on which one you get.
Subsection E provides, “The court shall consider the cost and the quality of healthcare coverage available to the parties. If both parties have healthcare coverage available, the court shall give priority to the preference of the custodial parent, unless it is not in the best interest of the child.”
So, who gets to decide? Ultimately, the court makes that decision, if both parties are pushing forward with different plans for healthcare coverage. But, the law requires that the court give preference to the custodial parent when making that determination.
However, in order for any of the plans to be available, it’s got to be something that is reasonably priced, meaning that the pro-rata shared to each parent can’t be more than 5% of their income and that it has to be reasonably available, meaning that the child can have a primary care physician that is less than 60 miles away from their home of the custodial parent.
So, the question is, “Who gets to decide?” It’s up to the court, however, preference is given to the custodial parent. If you need to speak to a Tulsa family law attorney or a Tulsa Child Custody Attorney please visit makelaweasy.com