Medical coverage is one of the issues that parents must discuss during the divorce or child custody process. Maintaining health insurance for a child is often included in the custody and child support decree with the amount paid to keep medical insurance used to calculate child support amounts. Usually, the custody and child support agreement will include a provision for handling medical costs that insurance does not pay. Some expenses that medical insurance may not cover include vaccines that are not considered medically necessary by the carrier, braces that are not medically necessary, or an eye exam for contacts in addition to an eye exam for glasses. Couples are usually required to split the cost of any bills not paid by a health insurance carrier. The following are some tips for dealing with an ex who resfses to pay uninsured medical expenses.
It is not unusual for a former spouse or partner to need time to pay his or her half of uninsured medical expenses. Your support agreement may give your ex a specific time frame (30 days, 60 days, etc.) to pay his or her half of the expenses or reimburse you for payments already made. However, once that timeframe has passed and your ex does not seem any closer to making payments, start documenting your communication. Asking him or her about that half of the medical expenses via email or even text message can make it easier for you to prove that the expenses were discussed and an agreement was made. Keep copies of all conversations for future reference in the event your partner still does not make payment.
Talk to Your Attorney
If your child support and custody case was recently resolved, your attorney may be able to provide you with some assistance. Immediately after a ruling is made, it is not unusual for a parent to not initially take a court order seriously. When you are faced with an ex who is still attempting to send payment based on what is convenient for him or her, a nudge from your attorney may resolve the situation. Having your attorney send your ex a certified letter inquiring about medical expense reimbursement may help you avoid further litigation.
Prepare for Court
When all else fails, prepare yourself for a trip back to court. Waiting for your ex to make payments after ignoring letters and breaking promises sets a pattern that is difficult to break. Eventually the time will come when you desperately need the other half of your mutual child’s uninsured medical expenses, and if your ex is used to you waiting patiently, he or she may ignore a more urgent request. Instead of setting this precedent, prepare to return to court to get payment. If your ex is violating a court order, he or she may be held in contempt of court for failure to pay medical bills and forced to pay whatever is necessary to bring the financial obligation current.
If you or someone close to you is having a difficult time getting uninsured medical expenses paid, it is vital that you act fast. Failure to pay your child’s medical expenses could damage your credit while making it more difficult to obtain treatment in the future. The child support attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum understand how important it is to obtain the payments to which your child is entitled. We are prepared to give you the help that you deserve to resolve your situation quickly and efficiently. Contact one of our Atlanta metro area offices today to schedule a consultation.