In addition to regular child support payments for food, rent and clothes, parents are also responsible for uninsured medical expenses. Uninsured medical expenses probably bring to mind terrified flop sweats as you stare at a bill for an ambulance and emergency room visit. Unfortunately, the term is much broader. It covers anything that you have to pay out of pocket, including co-pays, deductibles, prescriptions and doctor visits, plus uninsured procedures and services. This article will go over the general guidelines of how to allocate and share in these expenses.
The practical result is that the custodial parent is the one who has to bear the brunt of these expenses, but he or she is entitled to an offset from the other spouse. Child support and custody orders should include guidelines on how to allocate these expenses between the two parents. Absent an order laying out the specifics, the court may modify the existing order to account for these expenses.
How you share in the expenses depends on two factors. First, some states allocate medical expenses based on relative incomes or child support. Some other states require sharing only if costs exceed a certain number. Other states distinguish between recurring and non-recurring expenses (i.e. unexpected expenses, like emergency room visits, must be shared but not recurring expenses, like prescriptions). A family law attorney can go over the law and how it may apply to you. Second, your child support orders can detail how these payments should be allocated. Depending on the state law, you may be able to abrogate those laws and generate your own payment plan.
If you incurred medical expenses caring for your child, then your ex-spouse should share in those costs. You may want to speak with a family law attorney to go over your options to determine if (a) your existing orders are sufficient to compel a reimbursement or (b) if you need to modify the existing orders.