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Understand a father’s medical child support obligations

As a father, you may face a number of child support obligations if you divorce your child's mother. Beyond child support and possible alimony obligations, you will have some portion of responsibility for any medical expenses that the child incurs.

Unfortunately, many fathers do not understand the terms of their own parenting and custody agreements appropriately, and find themselves unpleasantly surprised by medical bills. It is crucial to the best interests of the child for both parents to understand their respective responsibilities for the medical care of the child.

Without proper legal counsel, it is often difficult to navigate these matters fairly or address every issue. An experienced attorney can offer you professional guidance throughout the process of negotiating the terms of these agreements and ensure that your rights as a parents remain secure.

Which medical expenses are you responsible to cover?

Medical child support is not included in your standard child support obligations. Rather, it is your responsibility to cover some portion of any of your child's medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. However, the way you negotiate your parenting and custody agreements determines the specifics of your medical child support obligations and authority.

It is important that you make sure your child has the best quality of medical care available while keeping your rights as a parent protected.

What if you don't approve of the expenses?

It is important to work out the terms of which parent has final authority over medical procedures and treatment, especially if the parent who has that authority is not the same as the parent expected to foot the bill.

Your child may incur some medical expenses that are non-essential, like braces to straighten a smile. If you and your child's parent disagree about a medical issue, be sure to address how you should resolve this matter before it becomes a bigger problem.

If the mother of the child does manage to secure final authority over non-essential medical procedures, you may think its fine to simply not pay them in protest. This may draw the attention of a court, and you'll probably end up liable for it, anyway. Understand exactly what the penalties are for acting outside the support order before you act.

A child's medical expenses can be a divisive thing for parents raising the child separately. Ensure that your child receives the care he or she deserves.

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