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Do I have to use the insurance my ex-husband has our child enrolled in if he is legally obligated to cover him?

Detroit, MI |

Just recently my ex-husband decided, though never has before this past July, to add our minor son on his work insurance. As part of our divorce agreement in 2009 it states he is to provide insurance. He is also obligated to pay 56% of any costs that are not covered by insurance and I am responsible for 44%. Am I legally bound to use his insurance? My sons doctors are not in his network and I do not want to change them simply because of the insurance. Can I pay for doctors fees and bill him for the percentage he owes. Our divorce decree and the friend of the court only stipulated that he must provide insurance and that he is responsible for 56% of costs not covered. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. If he has purchased insurance coverage for your son and you decide to take your son to a different doctor so your ex-husband will still have to pay 56%, you will likely find yourself paying 100%. Judges do not like people playing those kids of games. Good luck!

    The comments listed here do not create an attorney-client relationship. The comments are for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice. This attorney is only licensed in Michigan and does not give legal advice in any other state. All comments are to be considered conversational information and you should not rely on these comments as legal advice or in place of retaining an attorney of our own. The comments here are based solely on what you have provided and therefore are general in nature and with more specific facts or details a different answer or outcome could result. The legal system is not a perfect science and this attorney does not guarantee any outcome.


  2. Yes you will have to use his insurance or pay the full amount.


  3. If you have your own insurance covering your child, you would not be required to use your ex-husband's insurance.

    But, if you do not have insurance, and your ex-husband is now providing insurance that covers your child, as ordered by the court, you would be required to utilize his insurance coverage, or risk paying 100% of uninsured costs.

    I understand that your son is comfortable with his doctor, and if you are willing to cover that cost yourself, then, by all means, go ahead and keep taking him to him. But, if you are not willing to shoulder the entire expense, you will need to find another doctor that participates with your ex-husband's insurance, that your son can also learn to be comfortable with.

    We raised three children. We had to switch insurance and doctors many times during their growing-up years. If we didn't like a doctor, we found another. We got referrals from friends. We called the doctor's office and conducted a phone interview with the front desk staff, stating what we were looking for in a doctor and made decisions that way.

    Best of luck to you,

    John J. Keenan

    This response applies to Michigan law only. This initial response to your question(s) is for general purposes, only, and is based upon the limited information you have provided. Therefore, this general answer should not be relied upon as a reason for your action or inaction. This response does not establish an attorney-client relationship; such a relationship may only be established by the signing of a written retainer agreement, and the payment of the agreed upon retainer. Please call me, or another attorney of your choice, with more details, and for an appointment to discuss same. Thank you for this opportunity to address your question(s).


  4. You need to use insurance. Perhaps the doctor would consider waiving the out-of-network fees? Or you could consider being solely responsible for the fees?

    Contact me at 248-702-5303 for a free consultation. My answer to this question is for general informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should seek the assistance of an attorney to determine the best approach and potential consequences for your situation.