Maggio Law Firm, PC

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Unforeseen child medical expenses and child support

When it comes to your child's health, there are few things higher on a parent's priority list than ensuring that their child's health is in a good place. When a child has an unforeseen medical emergency, injury or illness, it can be a stressful time for all involved. As a parent, you can feel helpless if your child is suffering a medical incident and you are at the mercy of healthcare to make them well again. When you are sharing costs for raising a child in separate households, how are those expenses handled between the parents?

You likely already have a child support agreement in place per your child custody arrangement. However, what you may not know is how unforeseen, and often expensive, medical costs are for your child. Much of this can be decided per state law. Some state laws require that each parent pay a percentage of the costs per their income. This would be based on monthly income, also known as the income shares model.

The other option the courts could implement to help discern who pays what for child medical expenses is for the noncustodial parent to share in the cost of uninsured medical expenses. This occurs when the amount equals more than a certain percentage of the original child support payment. Essentially, the payee of child support would pay more in the event that medical expenses moved beyond a certain amount of the monthly child support payments.

Even more potential outcomes could be laid out by the court in terms of how the costs are split. It comes down to the specific situation with the child's health and also if it's going to be recurring medical expenses or a one-time incident. The courts can help parents sort this out, especially if it's an unexpected event.

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