Are Custodial Parents the Responsible Party for Medical Bills?

By Beverly Bird

Anyone who has raised children knows that the costs of health insurance, broken bones and the latest school-spread bugs can be significant. States take these issues into consideration when ordering child support in a divorce. The burden of paying for medical care only falls entirely to one parent – either custodial or noncustodial – in isolated circumstances.

Anyone who has raised children knows that the costs of health insurance, broken bones and the latest school-spread bugs can be significant. States take these issues into consideration when ordering child support in a divorce. The burden of paying for medical care only falls entirely to one parent – either custodial or noncustodial – in isolated circumstances.

Health Insurance

Most states will address your children's health insurance needs in your divorce decree. Some, like Texas, issue a separate order. This order often requires that the noncustodial parent provide for the policy, particularly if he has access to coverage through his employer. The parent must typically pay any premiums in addition to his child support obligation. Other states, such as Massachusetts, allow you to deduct the cost of premiums from your income -- and child support is then calculated on the balance.

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Unreimbursed Medical Expenses

Medical bills that are not covered by insurance are typically – but not always – apportioned between parents. Rules for this can vary considerably from state to state. For example, in Massachusetts and New Jersey, the custodial parent pays the first $250 per child per year, with the balance divided between the parents in proportion to their incomes. The first $250 is considered covered by the child-support obligation. Connecticut caps out this covered portion at $100 per child, and Indiana sets it at 6 percent of the child-support obligation. Texas usually divides all uncovered medical bills equally between the noncustodial parent and the custodial parent, unless there's a significant difference in their incomes.

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Child Support Questions & Answers

References

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Directions for Filling Out Child Support in Georgia

At first glance, Georgia’s child support worksheet appears intimidating because it includes so many schedules. However, the schedules only help you arrive at the correct numbers to use in the worksheet. When you file for divorce, and if you have children, you must file this form with your complaint for divorce to initiate divorce proceedings. The Georgia Division of Child Support Services introduced an interactive form on its website in 2011, but you can also print it out and complete it by hand.

Connecticut Law on Medical Coverage After a Divorce

In Connecticut, medical coverage ends for a spouse who is covered under the other spouse’s plan once the divorce is final. State laws vary concerning medical insurance for an ex-spouse after divorce. However, Connecticut law does not require insurance companies to continue health insurance eligibility for ex-spouses after a divorce from a covered spouse.

Iowa Supreme Court Child Support Guidelines

A court must look to several factors in order to properly divide the expenses of caring for a child between divorced parents. Since 2009, Iowa has used a version of the Income Shares Model to calculate child support amounts. This model is based on the principle that each parent should pay an equal share of the total obligation in proportion to their income.

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