Custody Scenarios

How and where your eligible child gets care depends on:

  • Your custody agreement,
  • The sponsor’s military status, and
  • The sponsor’s location

Contact your regional contractor if you need help choosing a health plan for your child.

See below for some possible custody situations.

Both Parents are Service Members

Your child can only have one sponsor. When both parents are service members, you must decide together which will be the sponsor of your child’s benefits.  If you can’t agree, visit an ID card office for help with how to decide. The ID card office can also update your child’s records.

One Parent is a Service Member and the Other Parent No Longer Has TRICARE

Your child should have their own ID card when in the care of a parent or guardian who doesn’t have TRICARE.

Contact your local ID card office to get your child an ID card.

Shared Custody in Different TRICARE Regions

If you share custody of your child and your former spouse lives in a different TRICARE region, you should decide carefully which health plan your child will use.

If you share custody for more than 60 days at a time, TRICARE Select may be the best option. Your child can visit any TRICARE-authorized providerAn authorized provider is any individual, institution/organization, or supplier that is licensed by a state, accredited by national organization, or meets other standards of the medical community, and is certified to provide benefits under TRICARE. There are two types of TRICARE-authorized providers: Network and Non-Network. DS, network or non-network, without a referral.

TRICARE Prime may not be available in both locations. If it is, you'll need to transfer your child’s enrollment each time they move between parent’s homes or you’ll  pay higher point-of-service fees.

Last Updated 4/27/2022