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Codify who will pay for your child's health insurance in advance

You might think that you and your ex-spouse have come to agreement on various issues regarding child custody and how you will handle certain things after the divorce. But unless you've agreed to these things in writing, there aren't any guarantees. This is why parents use what are called "parenting provisions," or written statements, that allow them to codify the terms of their parental activities and relationship as co-parents.

One area that parents will definitely want to cover with their parenting provisions is health insurance and health care. Here are four parenting provisions that parents could use to establish various agreements in this area of parenting:

Who will pay for or provide health insurance?

It's best for parents to pin down which parent will assume the responsibility for providing or paying for health insurance. In the parenting provision, the parents might, for example, say that one or both parents shall provide health insurance for the child as long as it is available via an employer at a reasonable cost.

In cases where no health insurance is available through either employer, then the parents should indicate that they will maintain private insurance to be paid for by one or both parents. If the parents will share the costs, then they can say that 40 percent of the costs will be paid by parent A and 60 percent of the costs will be paid by parent B. Or, perhaps you will split these costs 50-50 between both parents equally. The parents should also agree to provide each parent with a copy of the medical insurance card for the child so that they can independently take the child to the doctor when necessary.

Do you know what health care provisions you will use in your custody plan?

If you're not sure what health care provisions and other parenting provisions you and the other parent should include in your parenting plan, you might want to consider your options carefully. As long as you agree to these provisions ahead of time, and think them through thoroughly, you can avoid a lot of potential difficulties later on down the road. A family law attorney can review your situation and draft provisions that are appropriate for your situation.

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