My ex has just sent me medical bills with a service date of 2009 for out child. I have since changed insurance providers for the 2010 year. Am I responsible for payment of these bills or is she responsible for the bill due to failure of providing bills within a timely manner. I live in the state of Arizona and I have a current court order requring that I provide medical insurance for the child however, mother refuses to use my insurance and now her attorney is requesting that I pay my share of the medical bills date from 2009 and 2010.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
there is often a provision in the Decree that medical bills not covered be submitted to the other party within 30 days of receipt. See if you have such a provision. Even if you have no such provision, most judges are going to rule something close to that.
Generally speaking, the child support statute requires that the parent seeking reimbursement must provide proof of the expense to the other parent within 180 days, and that parent then has 45 days to reimburse the expenses. Many people choose a different (usually shorter) timeframe to include in their documents.
If the other parent is aware of the new insurance and is refusing to use it (despite the availability of covered providers), a judge can order the other parent responsible for the out-of-network expense, but you would still likely be responsible to pay for what your share "would have been" had she used the insurance.
I do recommend you speak with an attorney to determine your rights and obligations in this situation. We offer a free initial consultation and would be happy to speak with you and review the documents in your case. All scheduling is done centrally, so please call our office at (480) 792-9770 to schedule a time to speak with one of our attorneys.
** This response is provided as general information only and does not constitute legal advice or otherwise establish an attorney-client relationship. **
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Under the Arizona statute for child support, ARS 25-320, there is an Appendix that addresses payment of medical expenses. #9 states as follows: "Except for good cause shown, any request for payment or reimbursement of uninsured medical, dental and/or vision costs must be provided to the other parent within 180 days after the date the services occur. The parent responsible for payment or reimbursement must pay his or her share, as ordered by the court, or make acceptable payment arrangements with the provider or person entitled to reimbursement within 45 days after receipt of the request.
Of course, this is just a guideline and not statutory, but I would argue that. Also, you can argue that Mother should be 100% responsible for any amount that exceeds what would have been paid out of pocket if she used your insurance. She is not allowed to just rack up bills when there is insurance coverage available. Lastly, you can also argue that she should be required to provide you with the information necessary for you to submit to your old insurance company and that if the coverage is denied because submission was untimely, she should be responsible for that as well since it was her delay that resulted in the cost.
Disclaimer - This response is provided as general information only and does not constitute legal advice or otherwise establish an attorney- client relationship between the person posting the question and the attorney submitting the response. This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. It is also to give you general information and a general understanding of the law. It is not intended to give you specific legal advice. For matters involving custody and parenting time, it is recommended that you contact an attorney for a legal consultation.
Wilson-Goodman & Fong, PLLC, has offices in Gilbert and Queen Creek, and handles cases in both Maricopa and Pinal Counties. There are several family law attorneys at the firm, each with different levels of experience and cost, to suit your specific needs.