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How do medical expenses impact my child support order?

This blog recently discussed child support modifications. Another concern that may arise in the context of child support, and may result in a need for a modification, is medical expenses. Parents may wonder how their child's medical expenses may impact their child support order and child support obligations. The answer is that parents are responsible for their child's uninsured and unreimbursed medical expenses in addition to their child support obligations.

Medical expenses that are not covered by insurance, including deductibles, co-pays, prescriptions and any other necessary medical, dental or vision treatment, are the responsibility of the parents. These medical expenses, that are not covered by a parent's health insurance plan, are commonly referred to as extraordinary healthcare expenses, though they can be routine costs. The division of medical expenses varies according to the rules in the state where the parents reside so they should be familiar with them.

When collecting medical expenses, it is important for parents to turn to their child support agreement and to follow it if it addresses the payment of medical expenses and how they should be divided between the parties. If the child support order does not address the payment of medical expenses, the parents may need to seek a modification to address it. Enforcement measures for the collection of medical expenses are similar to those associated with the enforcement of unpaid child support.

A child's care, including medical care, is unquestionably important which is why both child support and payment of medical expenses is addressed by the family law system which provides resources to parents to help them determine child support and how medical expenses will be paid. As a result, parents should be familiar with the family law resources available to support them when addressing the issues that concern both them and their children.

Source:, "Uninsured Medical Expenses and Child Support," Accessed Oct. 17, 2017

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