Thursday, December 27, 2007

Child Support - Medical Insurance for Child: From the Indiana Supreme Court

On November 29, 2007, the Indiana Supreme Court issued its opinion in Michael M. Cubel v. Debra A. Cubel (PDF format).

The Indiana Supreme Court answered the question of whether the non-custodial parent was to pay the medical insurance for a child past the child's twenty-first birthday. The decided that the non-custodial parent could be obligated to pay medical insurance past the child's twenty-first birthday. However, the order must specifically condition the non-custodian's obligation on the child remaining in school:

To the extent there is a conflict in the case law, we hold that a post-secondary educational order may include medical, dental, and optical insurance costs, as well as other health care costs, where the court finds such costs appropriate. As with all payments in post-secondary educational orders, payment of insurance and health care costs must be contingent upon the child remaining enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution. When fashioning the order, the court must consider the child's aptitude and ability, the child's reasonable ability to contribute to such expenses, and the ability of each parent to meet these expenses. See Ind. Code Ann. § 31-16-6-2(a)(1) (West 2007).
And Ind. Code Ann. § 31-16-6-2(a)(1) reads as follows:
(a) The child support order or an educational support order may also include, where appropriate:
(1) amounts for the child's education in elementary and secondary schools and at postsecondary educational institutions, taking into account:
(A) the child's aptitude and ability;
(B) the child's reasonable ability to contribute to educational expenses through:
(i) work;
(i) work;
(ii) obtaining loans; and
(iii) obtaining other sources of financial aid reasonably available to the child and each parent; and
(C) the ability of each parent to meet these expenses;

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