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Who pays medical costs in a child support order?

There are many daily costs that parents must provide for their children in New York. They must ensure that they are able to keep a roof over their heads, make sure that they have food to eat and have appropriate clothes to wear each day. There are also costs that are optional and occasional, such as extracurricular activities. There are also other, more important costs, such as medical costs.

Parents may have medical insurance premiums they pay each month and also may have additional out-of-pocket costs when children actually go to the doctor for one reason or another. If the parents are married, generally one parent will have insurance options through their employer that cover the children. The costs to the parents are generally deducted from the parent's paycheck. Any additional out-of-pocket costs just become one more expense that the parents figure out how to pay as part of their household costs.

However, when parents divorce, their household costs are no longer shared and become separate. This does not change the fact that both parents have an obligation to provide for their children. This includes both the daily costs and other costs, such as medical costs.

So, to ensure this occurs, there is usually a child support order in place. This order includes the basic support and generally states how the parents will handle the medical costs as well. Generally, the non-custodial parent pays the custodial parent basic child support. Then, in addition to that, the court may order the non-custodial to simply put the children on their insurance plan and pay for it. Also, the court will order that the non-custodial parent also pays a portion of the out-of-pocket expenses as well.

There are many divorced parents in New York and many more parents will divorce in the future. When this occurs, both parents still have an obligation to provide for their children. This includes both physical care and financial care, including medical expenses.

Source: www.nycbar.org, "Child Support: Questions and Answers" accessed on Nov. 28, 2017

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