Health care reimbursements don’t ‘count’ for child support

A divorced father who was reimbursed each month by his employer for the amount he spent on family health insurance premiums didn’t have to count these payments as “income” when deciding how much child support he should have to pay, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled recently.

The couple had three children before divorcing. A judge ordered the father to pay $2,400 a month in child support. In calculating this obligation, the judge included as income the $935 a month that the father’s employer reimbursed him for family health insurance that covered the children.

The father appealed, and the state high court agreed with him. The court noted that the only reason the father received these reimbursements was that he paid the exact same amount to an insurance company each month as a premium. Since there was no reason to think that the father would continue to receive these payments if he didn’t pay for the health insurance, the court said it was wrong to treat the payments as part of the father’s disposable income.