Child support normally includes the medical expenses of the child. While there may be health insurance coverage available to the child provided by a parent’s employer, the non-custodial parent may have to cover the cost of the child’s healthcare that is not covered under an insurance policy.
Uninsured medical expenses can include any deductibles, prescriptions, co-pays, and any adaptive devices such as wheelchairs or hearing aids required by the child. If there are dental expenses or even optician expenses that an employer does not provide coverage for, they can also be considered uninsured medical expenses as long as they are medically necessary.
Who Is Responsible For Uninsured Medical Expenses?
Parents can allocate responsibility for medical costs in their divorce agreement, including the monthly premiums required for health insurance coverage. The court will consider the agreement and approve it if it is in the best interests of the child.
There are circumstances where the court may order that a parent does not have to provide payment toward medical bills of a child. Examples include, if it will place undue hardship on one parent or if health insurance is not available at a reasonable cost.
According to the Texas Family Code, non-custodial parents are required to make payment for medical bills on top of the basic child support obligations they have to pay. The medical support obligation for the children must be clearly stated within the divorce agreement in order for you to enforce the agreement in court.
Enforcement Of Unpaid Uninsured Medical Expenses
Regardless of who bears the ultimate responsibility for a child’s uninsured medical costs, practically speaking whichever parent has custody of the child when the expense is incurred may have to pay the cost initially. If the parent who is not responsible for uninsured medical expenses has to incur the cost, he or she should be certain to retain copies of any bills and receipts of payment to enable him or her to seek reimbursement from the responsible parent.
If one parent is required to pay for some or all of a child’s uninsured medical expenses and fails to do so, the other parent can seek court intervention to enforce the obligation. The methods for enforcing an obligation to pay uninsured medical expenses are generally the same as the methods used for enforcing child support arrearages, and include garnishing of wages, and holding the party responsible in contempt of court.
Family Law Attorneys Experienced in Child Support Orders and More
Parents have enough to worry about without the added stress of chasing down child support expenses, agreed to in a divorce agreement. The attorneys of the Maynard Law Firm are experts in family law. With two offices in Tarrant County, our law firm has years of experience handling divorce and custody cases.
We offer a no-cost initial consultation and, if you prefer, we are willing to meet with you on video. Don’t let the stress of divorce overwhelm you – contact us today at 817-335-9600.
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