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Faqs About Child Support And Medical Expenses

Monetary payments from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent are not the only issue that has to be decided when a child support court order is issued. The parents also must determine who is responsible for medical care for the child. Most states have specific laws that settle the matter, while others leave room for the parents to reach an agreement. To help you understand what is at stake, here is what you need to know.

What Does Your State's Laws Say?

Your child support lawyer will explain your state's laws to you and determine if there is room for negotiations with the other parent. Depending on the state in which you live, it could be possible that the non-custodial parent is required to provide medical insurance for the child.

If you are the custodial parent and you are providing insurance for your child through employment, the court might order the other parent to contribute an additional amount of money each month to help with covering the expenses.

What About Uninsured Medical Expenses?

Even with medical insurance, there is a likelihood that your child will have some health care costs that are not covered. When that happens, you and the non-custodial parent could share responsibility for the expenses. In some states, the court will decide the division of these expenses. A possible split could be that the parents equally split the expenses.

Factors, such as the income of both parents and the time the child spends with each parent, could be used to decide the split. For instance, if the child has a chronic condition and the custodial parent spends more time with him or her and misses work frequently to care for the child, the judge might order the non-custodial parent to pay a larger share of the uninsured medical expenses.

How Do You Notify the Other Parent of Those Expenses?

If you are the custodial parent and the child has an uninsured medical expense, you are required to provide the non-custodial parent with reasonable notice of his or her financial obligation. Although you can verbally notify the parent, sending a certified letter or email to the other parent ensures that there is record of the notification.

In your notice, you need to inform the other parent of the expense and the due date for the payment. You should include a copy of the bill. If the other parent fails to take care of the bill, your attorney can advise you of your legal rights for collecting payment.