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Support agreements must include uninsured medical cost provisions

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2018 | Child Support, Spousal Maintenance

A child support order insures that a child’s expenses are covered by both parents. In many cases, this order is going to require one parent to pay money to the other parent for basic care necessities. Also, the order may dictate how the child’s health care is handled. It might establish which parent must keep medical insurance on the child.

However, these orders can overlook who is responsible for paying the child’s uninsured medical expenses.

These expenses include co-pays, deductibles and bills for treatment that isn’t covered by health insurance. Determining how these expenses will be handled ahead of time avoids the parents scrambling later when they occur. The more detailed the plan, the better you will likely fare.

When these child-related expenses occur, one parent will likely have to pay for the service or goods right away. The child support order should stipulate how the paying parent will be reimbursed for the other parent’s portion of the cost. This can be handled on a bill-by-bill basis, but this might be time-consuming if the child has a lot of out-of-pocket medical costs.

The alternative is to set up a schedule for when these expenses will be settled. This option might be beneficial if each parent covers necessary costs when they have the child. At the end of the settlement period, e.g., monthly or quarterly, each parent can add up what the other parent owes them. These can be compared, and any balance left can be paid by the appropriate person.

It is important to note that all medical expenses that are shared must be considered reasonable. If the expense isn’t reasonable, the parent who paid for it might not be reimbursed by the other parent. All of this should be discussed in the support order.