Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law

Support orders must address extraordinary medical expenses

Child support is ordered when parents split up. This is meant to cover some of the basic expenses of raising a child, but it isn't intended to cover everything. What some people don't realize is that there are some expenses that are considered extraordinary. One expense that can fall under this category is a medical cost that isn't covered by insurance.

These extraordinary medical expenses are usually addressed by the child support order. Reviewing this enables you to find out what formula is used to determine which parent is responsible for which costs. This might be a percentage of costs or it could be that one parent is liable for all expenses after the other has paid a certain amount during a specific time period.

The order should also cover how reimbursement will occur. There are various ways for this. One of the common ways is that each parent will have a specific percentage of these expenses to cover. Since one person might cover the upfront costs, there is likely a schedule for when the settling has to occur. This might be monthly, quarterly or once the reimbursement totals a specific amount.

The medical expenses that are paid for with cash should be reasonable. One parent shouldn't expect the other to pay for elective procedures unless they are agreed upon beforehand. If the expenses aren't reasonable, you might not be reimbursed.

If your child is going to have costly recurring expenses, they may need to be included in the child support order. This sets the expectations for the situation so that both parents know exactly what needs to happen.

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