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Must I stay in a job I hate because of my kids’ health insurance?

When parents divorce, the agreement often stipulates that one parent is responsible for obtaining and paying health insurance for the children. If you are the one who does this and your insurance is from a job you have always hated or have come to hate, you may wonder, "Am I stuck in this job until the kids turn 18 because the divorce decree requires me to pay for their health insurance?"

First things first: Check with your lawyer before making a decision to stay or quit. Each divorce or co-parenting agreement is different, and your lawyer should be able to determine whether you are on solid ground to quit or not. That said, no one should be forced to stay in a job they hate. This cripples your quality of life and can even compromise the good times you spend with your children. So what is there to do?

Obvious things out of the way

It is worth getting an obvious solution out of the way, and that is to search for new employment while you are at your current job. However, these efforts do not always work out. For example, maybe you are having no luck finding a new position or a new one that pays health insurance.

Discussion with your co-parent

You or your lawyer may be able to open a discussion with your co-parent or his/her lawyer about health insurance. If your co-parent has a job already that pays health benefits for a reasonable cost, then there really is no reason you should suffer in your current job. You might have to give the co-parent the money each month for the parent's health insurance increase, but you should be able to leave your job.

Obtaining insurance yourself

You can also explore whether finding insurance for yourself and the children would be possible under the Affordable Care Act. It could be if you no longer work, you have less income to report, and your children might qualify to be on state health insurance.

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