family law lawyer

My boyfriend and his ex share joint custody. Does he need to legally give her a copy of his daughter’s insurance cards?

I was recently asked this question and, once I understood the motivation, was able to offer some advise that I hope helped.

It would seem common sense to make sure both parents who are separated or divorced have access to the kids insurance papers. In the wacky world of Family Court, however, this can be a point of contention.

If parent has sole legal custody, or has sole decision making authority in a joint custody order (without having to consult the other parent), absent a court order, that parent does not need to share insurance cards with the other parent.  In some cases a parent does not have any authority to make, or have input into, certain decisions regarding the kids. For example, a parent may be a hypochondriac and routinely run up huge uncovered expenses, putting a financial strain on the other parent and causing the child much emotional distress.

In most cases, a parent who is responsible for maintaining the kids on health insurance will want the other parent to have insurance cards. This would be in the best interests of the children because it could prevent potential harmful delays in care. Even a parent who can not be trusted with making reasonable medical decisions should still have access to medical cards, regardless of whether they are “required” to have them.

Consider Including the following when negotiating a settlement with your spouse:

  1. Require your consent to scheduling an appointment with a medical or dental provider.
  2. Require that you be part of any conversation with a health care provider regarding your children.
  3. Require your consent to any expenditure of money for non covered health or dental care procedures.
  4. Require immediate notice of all emergency or unscheduled medical or dental appointments.

It is always a much better for both parents to have the insurance cards, but if not otherwise ordered by the court, it may not be required.

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