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Do you understand medical child support?

As a parent, you bear a number of ongoing responsibilities to your child, even when you and your child's other parent chose to raise the child separately. One of the most commonly overlooked responsibilities that parents often discover unpleasantly is medical child support. Unlike typical child support, medical child support is not regular or necessarily ongoing. Instead, it only arises when a child receives medical care that is not fully covered by an insurance policy.

If and when this does occur, parents bear a legal obligation to cover any uncovered medical expenses. However, this responsibility does not always fall on both parents equally. It is important to make it a priority to address the amount of this liability each parent bears, especially when it comes to elective medical care.

Should you and your child's other parent not address these issues carefully and intentionally, one parent or the other may find him or herself facing unfair medical expenses. They may be legally required to pay these expenses even if they don't agree to the medical care that incurred the expenses to begin with.

If you and your child's other parent disagree about some type of medical care for personal or religious reasons, this may create a deeply frustrating legal conflict. You don't want to face a legal responsibility to pay for medical care that conflicts with your personal beliefs.

You and your child's other parent may find a number of ways to address this issue fairly. Be mindful, however, to make sure that you receive all the legal guidance you need at points in this process. Prioritizing protecting your rights right now may offer you ways to protect your rights and preferences for years to come while providing your child the best life that you can.

Source: Findlaw, "Uninsured Medical Expenses and Child Support," accessed Dec. 07, 2017

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