My fiancé and his ex (mother of his two kids; they were never married) finally went to court a few months back to get a ruling on visitation and child support because they never had and it was becoming problematic.
He and the ex met with a mediator on court day and an agreement was hashed out and agreed upon by the judge, to be revisited this coming May. My question is with regard to the agreement (which I assume is now a court order as the judge agreed on all the provisions the mediator wrote up). One of the provisions is that should either parent at some point gain access to private health insurance, they would be required to add the kids to their insurance. another was that out of pocket expenses for health care would be split evenly.
My fiancé and his ex are illegal immigrants. The kids are now covered under MassHealth, as neither parent makes a lot of money and it's mostly unreported income anyway. i have insurance through my employer, however I contribute hundreds to the premium and the deductible is $1000/$5000 for families. Adding the kids would add a significant financial burden to both of us, and something we need to consider before getting married.
This is a question your fiance needs to ask the court. Vague words like "access to private health insurance" can mean anything and cause trouble. Once you marry he "has access" via the marriage. But his addition to that insurance is not automatic. So he should get a clarification from the court. It could very well mean that yes, they do need to be added because the court will not want the state to keep carrying the cost when the parties can. Be aware that the addition may also qualify for a reduction of child support if he pays any, so that is a consideration.
You may want to spend some time going over the pros and cons with a local attorney be fore marrying.
The short answer is: you do not have to provide your boyfriend's children with health insurance. The court will look to the least expensive way to provide suitable coverage. The kids have insurance though the state now. It is unlikely that you, as a non-party to his child support action, will be charged with the obligation of their health insurance cost. Your ex may, however, be charged with half of any insured expenses for the children.
This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney
Even if you get married, I don't think the court will force you to pay for their children's health care. The children already receive MassHealth, so your fiance might be responsible for half if there are any costs involved.
I am licensed to practice in Massachusetts. As such my answers should not be viewed as a legal advice.
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