Child Support and Medical Expenses
Being a single mother of a child with health problems is stressful enough just because of the situation. It’s difficult enough to care for a sick child with a spouse involved, but this becomes even more difficult alone. In cases of divorce, medical expenses do have some weight upon the amount of the child support that’s awarded to the mother.
The Cost of Health Insurance
The first cost that will be considered is the price of health insurance. The court will want to make sure that your child is covered by health insurance, even if he or she does not have any serious health problems. If the father of the child has health insurance available through his workplace, then the child will likely be covered on his insurance plan.
In some cases, the court may require the father to pay for a separate policy for the child. Usually the father is able to pick the insurance plan that covers the child. If the cost of health insurance is not reasonable or affordable for the father of the child, then the requirement for health insurance may be delayed until the father can afford it. The court will examine the father’s finances and determine if undue hardship will be caused by making him pay for the child’s health insurance. In most cases, if health insurance is required of the father, the amount of that insurance is deducted from the amount of child support the father will have to pay.
Other Medical Expenses
In addition to health insurance, there are also many other medical expenses that may come up. Thankfully single mothers receiving child support do not have to take care of these expenses on their own, even if they are beyond what insurance will pay for. For example, many insurance plans do not pay for braces or other orthodontic care. Often psychiatric care will also fall outside the bounds of insurance. There are also many other examples of medical expenses that may not be covered by health insurance.
These other medical expenses are usually defined by the court as “extraordinary medical expenses,” and they typically exceed five percent of the usual child support payment. Mothers receiving child support will spend five percent of what they receive on these other medical expenses. For anything over five percent, the court will look at the income of both parents and divide the cost among them according to their income. If the father makes more money than the mother, then he will have to pay more of this cost, and vice versa for the mother.
The way these extraordinary medical expenses work with child support may vary from stay to state, so it will help to check with your state’s child support office to find out the exact law concerning them.
Other Facts about Child Support and Medical Expenses
The laws regarding child support and the collection of child support do vary a bit from state to state, but there are a few things you can expect. For example, there is usually a limited amount of time for the mother to request payment of medical expenses from the father. It may be within a year or two of the time the child’s medical expense was incurred. Also it usually takes at least 30 days for the court to step in when medical expenses are not being paid by the father. In addition, the amount that will have to be paid by the non-custodial parent is often determined by whether the expense was a need. For example, if the court determines that braces were needed for the child, then the laws about extraordinary medical expenses will be imposed.