Parents must provide the resources that protect the best interests of their children after a divorce. This includes meeting their living, education, and medical needs.
Health insurance coverage may be provided by one or both parents, but there are medical expenses that aren’t covered by insurance companies. So parents must pay these costs out of their own pockets.
This leads to conflicts when parents disagree on who will pay for these and other expenses in addition to those included in their child support plan.
The right legal resources protect the wellbeing of you and your child and help you achieve the outcome you want in a divorce case.
What are Uninsured Health Care Costs?
Many medical expenses aren’t covered by insurance providers. These uninsured (or “extraordinary”) medical costs include expenses related to deductibles, co-pays, drug prescriptions, and dental costs.
The laws related to uninsured medical costs will vary, but child support orders will typically include the amount that each party will be responsible for covering in a divorce settlement.
This is usually defined as a percentage, but in some cases, a child support order may not include these terms. As a result, parents may request child support modifications to ensure that future medical costs are covered.
Both parents may be required to pay for uninsured health care costs, and the courts often base their decisions on each parent’s monthly income.
Noncustodial parents may need to share in the health care expenses if the amount exceeds the terms of an existing child support agreement.
Providing Health Care for Children in Georgia
In Georgia, uninsured health care costs for children after a divorce is seen as the financial responsibility of both parties.
Child support orders include provisions that outline how expenses will be addressed. But costs related to uninsured health care services cannot be used when determining the total amount of child support.
Uninsured medical expenses are divided proportionally (pro rata), but the courts don’t necessarily have to follow this standard.
Georgia courts consider treatments related to vision care, asthma, chronic or acute health problems, and mental health issues along with those already mentioned above.
Recurring and nonrecurring health care expenses are considered, and the requirements of parents to cover these costs must be outlined in a child support order.
But parents can disagree over these costs, which requires the use of a skilled legal expert who’ll help you determine your rights while ensuring the care that your child needs.
Common Challenges and Legal Protection
Parents need to notify each other of uninsured health care costs in a timely manner. The time period in which this notification must be made can be specified in a child support order.
The ways in which payments are made must also be defined in order to prevent any unwanted issues.
Payments for uninsured medical costs can be made directly to the parent, the provider of the medical services, or a child support agency.
Enforcing the terms related to these health care costs may require similar actions as those used when enforcing unpaid child support. These include the seizure of wages and tax refunds, and parents who fail to pay the required costs can be held in contempt of court.
Consulting with a family law attorney allows parents to meet the obligations of their child support agreements while protecting their own financial wellbeing.
Uninsured health care costs will arise, and parents need to know how to plan for these and other costs so that they prioritize the best interests of their child and secure the future of the entire family.