Is the noncustodial parent responsible for medical bills and health insurance?


Is the noncustodial parent responsible for medical bills and health insurance?

The divorce process can be daunting and overwhelming, and when children are involved there are a host of questions that need to be answered, and issues that have to be addressed before a case is finalized. Joint legal custody and health insurance, as well as which parent is responsible for medical bills, are some of the questions that people have when considering whether child support includes medical expenses. The short answer is yes, non custodial parents are responsible for medical bills and health insurance.

How is health insurance calculated in child support?

New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines very clearly address each parents responsibility to contribute toward both non-recurring and recurring healthcare costs. For purposes of the payment of child support, New Jersey Child Support Guidelines dictate that the parent receiving child support is responsible for the first $250 per child per year for out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as doctor co-pays, office visits, and prescription drug costs.  Additionally unreimbursed medical expenses are to be shared by both parents based upon the percentage ratio set forth in the guidelines.

Who pays for child health insurance after divorce?

Whichever parent is providing health insurance receives a credit in the calculation of the child support guidelines so that the costs are apportioned to both parties.  There is not a requirement that the non custodial parent be responsible for health insurance.  Health insurance can be provided by the custodial parent but both parties have a financial obligation to maintain the insurance.  The decision pertaining to which parent is to provide medical insurance typically depends upon which parent has the better insurance plan and which parent can add the child at the lowest cost. Both parents are interested in ensuring that the best coverage is available to the child since that is best for the children but also while balancing the costs, since both parents contribute toward the cost.

Is therapy considered a Medical expense for child support?

When considering if the noncustodial parent is responsible for medical bills people often question whether routine therapy is considered a medical expense.  Arguably, medically necessary therapy for the child, whether it be in place as a result of the divorce or otherwise, is treated as an unreimbursed that both parties should contribute toward for their children. As a matter of public policy, New Jersey courts promote maintaining and maximizing the health and well being of children and costs should not be an impediment to children receiving the medical attention that they need,

How your child’s medical expenses will be divided after a divorce

Here at DeTorres and DeGeorge, we provide compassionate legal representation to our clients. We understand how difficult this process could be and how important the care of the children are, and how essential the maintenance of their support is to both parents moving forward after the divorce is finalized. We can answer your questions concerning joint legal custody and health insurance so that you know if the non-custodial parent is responsible for health insurance and medical bills before you finalize your divorce. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We are here to help. 


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