Parents often have child support obligations that extend beyond routine monthly expenses. As discussed in a prior article, uninsured medical expenses can be counted as mandatory costs for child support. If you incurred these expenses, then there are a few steps you must go through to get reimbursed by your ex-spouse. This article will go over how you can get reimbursed for medical expenses.
Whether or not you can get uninsured medical expenses reimbursed depends on three things: the timing of the request, whether or not you gave notice and the reasonableness of the expense. You must give timely notice to the other parent of this expense. A good rule is to not wait so long that it looks unfair. For example, don't try and collect on a medical expense you incurred six months back. You need to be more proactive than that.
Parents occasionally have disputes about whether or not a procedure is necessary, like a nose job or braces. If there is a legitimate dispute, then the court will hear the issue to determine if the expense was reasonable. For example, the court may find that braces are necessary because they contribute to the long-term dental health of the child. Conversely, it may rule that an elective nose job for a minor is unnecessary.
If the court agrees that the expense was reasonable and you are entitled to it, then there are a few things you should do to ensure you will get reimbursed:
- Make copies of the bills/receipts and keep them together. You will need these to substantiate the expenses.
- Try to resolve the issue informally and record the date and time you attempted to resolve it. If you wrote an email or a text, save that as well.
- Before incurring the expense, alert the other parent of the impending expense. Explain the cost, nature and purpose of the expense. Also record when you informed the other parent and save copies of written correspondence.
- Finally, review your child support order and be sure to comply with all guidelines therein.
If your child incurred uninsured medical expenses, then you are entitled to reimbursement from the other spouse. You may want to contact an attorney to help you. It is easier to resolve these disputes out of the court but sometimes that isn't always possible.