Assigning medical coverage responsibility in child support and child custody decrees is designed to avoid future disputes over children’s health insurance in the future. A fair division of uninsured medical expenses is also addressed in most decrees to ensure that both parents are equally responsible for procedures or medications that insurance will not cover. Unfortunately, some parents may fail to adhere to the court-ordered agreement, creating problems for the child and other parent. Making sure joint medical bills are being paid can help protect your credit and give you an opportunity to confront your former partner about violating an existing court order.
Contact the Medical Practitioner Directly
The fastest way to check on the status of medical bills is to contact the medical practitioner or treatment facility directly. A parent with joint legal custody is usually able to ask questions regarding billing and payment history. In some cases, you may be able to arrange to make payments directly to the care provider instead of sending money directly to your former partner. You may be required to provide proof of joint custody or verify that you are your child’s parent before you are given information. Faxing a copy of the final decree or court order is usually sufficient, but if additional information is requested, you may need to consult with your attorney.
Check Your Credit Report
Emergency medical visits or bills associated with a doctor that your child no longer sees are usually turned over to collection agencies quickly. Companies that specialize in collecting medical debt report these unpaid bills to the three major credit bureaus and it is not unusual for a person to remain unaware of a debt until they attempt to obtain a loan for a car or house. Checking your credit report every year will help you locate any unpaid medical debts that your child has. If your former partner listed you as the guarantor, the company may report the debt to your credit report. Alternatively, check your child’s credit report since occasionally a company will report the debt to the child’s credit report.
Have Your Attorney Reach Out
If you have recently finalized a custody and support agreement, it may take some time for all parties to get on the same page regarding medical related expenses. Your former partner may incorrectly believe that you are solely responsible for the uninsured medical expenses. After you have attempted to discuss the situation with your ex yourself, have your attorney reach out to your former partner or his or her attorney. There are times when a simple review of the court order can lead to a resolution that bypasses additional litigation while ensuring your child receives the medical care that he or she needs.
Vayman & Teitelbaum
We understand how difficult all financial aspects of child custody are. The team at Vayman & Teitelbaum is standing by to help you get the answers you need. With multiple locations in the Atlanta, Georgia area, our child support attorneys are able to provide you with the aggressive legal representation that you deserve. Contact us today at 678-736-7700 to schedule an initial consultation.