When parents choose to divorce, the process can prove enormously frustrating for both sides. Often, it is useful to prioritize providing the best quality of life one can for the child, for the sake of both the parents and the child.
If you and your spouse face divorce with a child, you may find that it is very difficult to separate the emotional frustrations at play in the divorce from the very important legal matters that you must resolve in order to move forward.
Keeping your child's best interests at the center of the negotiations, you can more easily avoid getting bogged down by distractions while ensuring that you address important issues you might otherwise miss or fail to fully understand. One of the most important things to determine as a part of your child custody and support agreements is how each parent bears responsibility for the child's uncovered medical costs.
As with all things related to divorce and child custody, it is much wiser to enlist the guidance of an experienced attorney than to attempt to navigate these issues on your own. Proper legal counsel helps you focus on understanding the matters at hand, and keeps your rights as a parent protected throughout the divorce process and beyond.
Your child's uncovered medical expenses
Each parent carries some portion of responsibility for the medical expenses a child incurs that are not covered by insurance. However, the terms you negotiate in your parenting and support agreements can affect how much liability each parent holds.
General child support does not include these expenses, so if one parent is already paying child support to the other parent, he or she may also bear responsibility to cover some or all of these medical expenses on top of other support obligations.
Who decides on medical care for the child
In some cases, parents may disagree about medical care. It is useful to determine ahead of time how to resolve these disputes so that the child does not suffer.
If you do not address this issue during the negotiations around custody and support agreements, it may cause major conflicts later on. For instance, if the parent who receives support is also the parent with final say over medical care for the child, then the parent who provides child support may find themselves on the hook for medical expenses they do not support.
This is common when parents have different religious backgrounds, or if one parent considers things like oral braces to be essential, while the other parent considers them optional.
There are many ways to resolve these issues. It is better for all parties to work through them together, making sure that each parent fully understands the terms of these agreements and the responsibility they individually bear to provide and care for the child they love.