Who pays for unreimbursed medical expenses for the children during a divorce or child custody case?
Both parents are equally responsible to pay for one half of all uninsured medical costs. This can include orthodontics, dental work, co-payments, or prescription expenses. California Family Code Section 4063 covers how you get these expenses reimbursed.
If one parent pays for a deductible, copayment or other uninsured medical costs on behalf of the child, they need to provide a copy of that payment to the other parent and a request for reimbursement within 30 days of paying or incurring that charge. The other parent must then reimburse them for the payment for their share of the expenses for the children.
When a Parent Will Not Pay
If you have a parent that is not paying medical expenses and you have done the proper requests, they could be forced to pay those through the filing of a contempt action and through a bank levy. However, most cases we do not have to take things as far.
Another alternative is to make arrangements with the doctor to bill the other parent for half of the co-payments and this will work in cases where parents generally cooperate and work with each other to take the children to the medical appointments, therapy appointments, or the orthodontics.
Unnecessary Medical Costs
A parent is not required to pay for medical costs that are unnecessary, such as cosmetic dentistry that is not necessary for the health and safety of the child or other types of cosmetic surgeries or anything like that.
These expenses should be agreed to under the legal custody provisions of the Court Order.
In some cases where somebody is consistently having issues in obtaining reimbursement for medical expenses, and there is generally a regularly associated monthly cost the court can make orders so that the amount of medical expenses can be built into your child support order as an add-on to the support paid.
Any questions about how medical expenses are to be handled shoot us over an email or give us a call.