New Jersey parents who are negotiating a child support agreement typically consider several different types of expenses. One category that should be addressed is that of uninsured medical expenses. These costs include medically necessary health care bills that are not covered under the child’s insurance. These expenses may include dental or vision care bills, co-pays, deductibles and prescription costs.
To be included in most child support orders or agreements, the treatment or health care must be medically necessary. While a child support order will generally include provisions for a child’s health insurance, extra costs like co-pays and deductibles are common under most U.S. insurance plans.
Many child support orders or agreements make explicit provisions for these types of expenses from the beginning and lay out a percentage of the costs that each parent must pay. An existing child support order or agreement can be modified or amended later to address this type of expense for the child. In some cases, the division of these costs is based on an agreement between the parents. A judge can also set a division in their child support order based on the parents’ respective incomes.
Collecting payment for these types of expenses generally needs to be coordinated between parents. In the case of a dispute over the necessity of a particular type of care, such as braces, a family law court may make a determination. A parent’s failure to contribute as required in the child support order means that they can face the same types of sanctions for non-payment of basic child support obligations.
Parents can develop an initial child support agreement that includes explicit and accurate guidelines for extraordinary medical expenses with the guidance of a family law attorney. In addition, a family lawyer can seek a child support modification or obtain a new child support order to include a division of these types of uninsured medical expenses for the child.