WHEN NEGOTIATING CHILD SUPPORT, CONSIDER HEALTH CARE COSTS
Regarding child support, when divorcing parents negotiate terms, often the focus is on covering day-to-day expenses. It is understandable if the recurring costs of housing, food, clothing and other essentials are on the forefront of your mind. After all, if you cannot consistently pay for these things you will be certain to endure financial hardships.
But when working out your child support agreement, you should also bear in mind the costs of insurance and medical treatment. Of course, if your child has special needs you are likely aware of his or her expenses. But if you have been lucky so far and your child has been free of the need for extensive care, you may not realize how truly expensive it can be. Therefore, it is important to make sure that health care coverage is part of your support discussions.
Ultimately, the court will render a decision regarding health insurance for the child, and either parent could be ordered to provide insurance through a plan available through an employer. If this option is not available, one of the parents may be responsible for the costs of insurance outright. Or, the non-custodial parent may have to reimburse the custodial parent for some or all of the amount spent by the custodial parent to obtain coverage.
And if a child has ongoing medical expenses or if he or she has uninsured medical costs, it is possible that a parent will have to contribute to paying those bills as well.
Issues related to medical expenses are just one of the details that an experienced family law attorney can assist you with. The attorney can help you work through your child support agreement, making sure that the contingencies regarding insurance and other health care issues are covered in a manner that suits your and your child’s best interests.