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You must understand your medical child support obligations

Parents facing divorce have some very important negotiations ahead of them. When working through parenting, custody and support agreements with your spouse, be sure to address the issue of medical child support.

Medical child support is entirely separate from standard child support obligations. Many parents who do not realize the difference between the two find themselves caught off-guard by a financial obligation they did not expect.

As parents, you hold joint responsibility for your child's uncovered medical expenses. This means that any medical expenses your child incurs that are not already covered by insurance fall to you and the other parent to pay. After you and your child's other parent are no longer married, you both still hold this responsibility. Your parenting and support agreements lay out how much liability each parent holds, respectively.

In simple terms, this means that you may find yourself paying regular child support and also still be on the hook for additional medical expenses for your child. Both parents should clearly understand how their responsibility in these matters so that the child's medical needs don't suffer.

Often, the parent who has the final say over whether a child undergoes certain medical treatment is not the same parent who is responsible for paying the medical bills. By the time you and your spouse finish working through your various parenting agreements, you should understand exactly what your privileges and responsibilities are to your child's medical care.

Don't hesitate to reach out for guidance through these matters. Professional legal counsel helps you examine your particular circumstances and negotiate fair agreements that you provide the best quality of life that you can for the child you both love.

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