How are child medical expenses handled in a divorce?
Utah law presumes that parents should equally share their children’s reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket medical expenses. This includes the child’s pro-rata share of any medical insurance policy that a parent provides.
The Court will designate whether one or both parents are expected to provide the children with health insurance. If dual coverage is ordered or possible, the court will designate which parent’s plan is considered primary and secondary. Factors the court considers when deciding who should provide insurance is the reasonableness of the cost, whether group coverage is available, what benefits the plan offers, and the preference of the custodial parent. The parent ordered to maintain insurance is expected to provide written verification to the other parent or Office of Recovery Services upon initial enrollment and thereafter on an annual basis on or before January 2 each year.
For out-of-pocket medical expenses, the court expects the parents to take advantage of any health insurance coverage that are available to them as parents are only expected to share the remaining uncovered amount. The parents are then expected to notify each other in writing what out-of-pocket medical expenses they’ve incurred and the other parent is generally expected to reimburse 1/2 that cost within 30 days.
The requirement that a medical expense be both “reasonable” and “necessary” means parents are only required to share medically necessary expenses. This generally means the kind of care a reasonable medical provider would recommend to treat a child’s disease, condition, illness, or injury. It generally does not encompass non-traditional or “homeopathic” remedies unless both parents agree.
Bear in mind these are general presumptions which the Court can adjust however it wants. If the Court puts difficult rules in place in your case then you need to follow those rules.
Give us a call today at 855-254-2600 for answers to your questions about sharing medical expenses in a divorce.