I (stepdad) pay for the medical insurance for all the children the dad is paying for half the copays even though he doesn't have to and now wants me to pay my half or he will take me to court. The child told him he can pay his own copays but the father refuses to let him (he is 20 yrs old ) do I have to pay him and can I charge him for half of what I pay for medical insurance . I just want to tell him to stop paying for anything that he's off the hook but he wants us to spend money on lawyers knowing we really can't afford one. HELP
You have to look at the seperation agreement. If it is silent then you should go modify the agreement.
Child Custody Lawyer
The answer would be found in the Court's Final Order on this issue. You can contact a local NH divorce attorney and have them review the Order. Typically, an attorney will do this for no charge. The attorney can then provide you with more specific insight as to your options.
Divorce attorneys often encounter questions about uninsured medical expenses. However, this issue was brought before the New Hampshire Supreme Court In the Matter of Cheryl Anne Coderre and Paul A. Coderre on September 30, 2002. The father appealed an by the trial court that ordered him to pay for his children’s uninsured medical expenses and extracurricular activity expenses in addition to the child support ordered under the child support guidelines.
First, the Court determined that uninsured medical expenses are extraordinary expenses that are not included in child support guidelines. The Court looked at the statute regulating child support RSA 458-C and determined that the calculations under the guidelines are presumed to be correct but that the court may adjust the guidelines either upward or downward if it deems this deviation is warranted. More specifically looking at RSA 458-C:5, I(a) which states that the trial court “may deviate from the guideline support amount if it finds that a child will incur ongoing extraordinary medical expenses.”
Therefore, the Court upheld the trial court’s order for payment of uninsured health insurance.
In sum, a court has discretion to award uninsured medical expenses that are separate from the child support award determined by the guidelines. However, typically these obligations terminate when the child support obligation terminates.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I am completely confused. How is there any order requiring you, as step-father, to pay anything? That being said, if there is a New Hampshire support order that requires you to pay these expenses, this typically ends once the child is 18 and has graduated from high school. My recommendation would be to have an attorney review any applicable orders to provide you with specific advice.
Disclaimer: This response is offered for educational purpose only. This response in no way creates an attorney-client relationship between Anna Goulet Zimmerman/Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC and the recipient. Responses are general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided, and could be different if additional facts were known.