The 6% Rule in Child Support Orders
This Guide will help you understand the 6% rule - why its important, what it means, how to enforce it, and your remedies if the other party is not complying with the rule.
What is the 6% rule?Built into every child support order is a prepayment from the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent for the child(ren)'s uninsured medical expenses. When the child incurs uninsured medical expenses, the custodial parent is responsible for the first chunk (a specified dollar amount in your order) of uninsured medical expenses. If there are additional uninsured medical expenses after that first chunk, the Court orders each parent to pay that parent's percentage of their combined gross weekly income.
Why the 6% rule is important.Some parents send the custodial parent money each week to cover this child's food, clothing, and other necessary items. If that is the case, those custodial parents may not think its necessary to go to Court and receive a child support order. However, those parent's have no protection in the event the noncustodial parent stops paying. Furthermore, the custodial parent may be receiving less support than what a Court would order. Third, paying support without a Court order does not obligate the noncustodial parent to contribute towards uninsured medical expenses. A child support order from the Court protects against all of those things.
How do I enforce the 6% rule?In order to enforce the 6% rule, the custodial parent must send the noncustodial parent a copy of each medical bill where there is an uninsured medical expense. The custodial parent must also keep track how much the noncustodial parent has paid each year. Then, if the child incurs uninsured expenses that exceed that first block of expenses the custodial parent is responsible for, the custodial parent must inform the noncustodial parent how much that person owes for each medical bill. If the noncustodial parent fails to comply with the 6% rule, the custodial parent can file a Rule to Show Cause Motion, or commonly known as a contempt motion. There the custodial parent must prove the noncustodial parent has the means to comply with the Court order and is refusing to do so. Failure to send the medical bills to the noncustodial parent will prevent you from enforcing the 6% rule.