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Arkansas OCSE can enforce medical insurance orders

A divorced spouse in Arkansas may find it challenging if that person needs medical insurance coverage, especially if that spouse is also the custodial parent of the ex-couple's child. The parent may have a job but that job may not provide any medical insurance benefits. The ex-spouse should note that the Office of Child Support Enforcement has provisions that allow the custodial parent to file a petition to request a share of the health insurance benefits that the non-custodial parent receives.

This is applicable only when the custodial parent and the children do not have satisfactory health insurance benefits. The court, as a response to the petition, may establish a medical support order or modify the existing support order.

The OCSE may also enforce an order for medical insurance coverage of the child, if the custodial parent has expressed the need on the application. If the custodial parent is a recipient of public assistance benefits, the OCSE automatically provides the medical coverage for the child. The OCSE will submit a petition to the court, including a request for medical support provision, which requires the noncustodial parent to provide medical insurance. The noncustodial parent may obtain insurance benefits from the employer or union. If the court agrees to the OCSE's request, the OCSE may order the noncustodial parent to provide medical coverage.

If there is an existing child support order, the OCSE may still enforce the medical support order irrespective of the existing one. If the child support order has no provision for medical insurance, the OCSE may insist that the order be modified and include an insurance requirement at the same time. However, uninsured medical claims are not enforced by the OCSE unless the court orders it to do so. Additionally, it may be a wise idea to consult an attorney in order to understand the process more clearly.

Source: Arkansas.gov, "General Questions about OCSE," Accessed on June 25, 2015

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