Who Takes a Child’s Medical Bills Post-Divorce?
Divorce is a difficult process made even more difficult when there are children involved. Child support can be an intimidating thought that brings up thousands of questions in your mind. One of the most common concerns among parents seeking a divorce is who will pay their child’s medical bills? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer and no conclusive way to decide who is responsible for what post-divorce, but there are general principles that can be followed to get a rough idea.
For one, it depends on what state you live in. In the State of Texas, for example, it is a community property state. This means that when it comes to division of property, all marital assets will be divided evenly. All of this changes when it comes to children though. The issues surrounding your children will not be decided based on the principle of property, but rather what is in the child’s best interests. A lot will depend on who is granted custody and who is responsible for child support and how much.
Let us look at a hypothetical scenario in order to make sense of this principle. Say that Jane and John get a divorce. They have two children, and John has the better job so he is required by the court to pay $2,000 a month to support his children. The judge will likely make the stipulations for how that money is supposed to be spent. Jane cannot ask John for more money than the court has required him to pay per month unless she petitions for the divorce agreement to be changed.
If in that $2,000 was considered a provision for the children’s medical bills, then Jane will not have to pay for the children’s expenses of that nature. Some divorce agreements will require the spouses to split the copays and other types of medical fees related to the children’s doctor visits. An attorney can explain to you specifically what is included in your child support payments. A lot of the confusion that arises comes from a lack of complete understanding of the divorce agreement.
Your agreement may require your ex-husband to pay for “other" medical expenses, but you are not sure what is included in this. If you wish to take your child to a specialist, for example, but that is not listed as one of the other types of medical covered by support, then you will likely have to pay for this on your own. Whatever difficulty you have encountered pertaining to your child’s medical bills, it is best to speak with an attorney to find out conclusively what you are responsible for.