Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Child Support and Health Care Expenses
Many couples who decide to divorce find the process to be not only financially draining, but also emotionally taxing -- especially if children are involved. Child support and custody issues may be difficult to resolve without a judge’s help, particularly if the couple is unable to communicate without arguing or fighting.
When dealing with custody and support issues related to the children, a number of considerations must be made. Who will be the custodial parent? What will the visitation schedule be? Who will pay the child-related expenses that arise? All of these questions will need to be resolved either by the parents themselves or by a judge who will make the final determination at the time of the divorce.
Uninsured Medical Expenses
One issue that may arise during the divorce process concerns the handling of uninsured medical expenses for the child. Such expenses can be the subject of many disagreements between soon-to-be exes. However, in Maryland, the custodial parent will be held responsible for handling his or her minor child’s uninsured medical costs, such as deductibles and/or co-pays. Generally, the custodial parent will use the child support provided by the non-custodial parent to take care of such expenses.
There is an exception to this rule, however. If the child’s uninsured medical costs are considered “extraordinary,” meaning the expenses exceed $100 for one illness or condition the child suffers from, those costs may be added to the child support obligation in total and divided between the parents in direct proportion to their incomes based on current Maryland Child Support Guidelines.
“Extraordinary” expenses can include necessary costs associated with dental treatments, orthodontia, physical therapy and treatments for asthma and chronic health issues, as well as psychiatric therapy for mental disorders that have been diagnosed and professional counseling.
Parting parents also often wonder who will be responsible for maintaining health insurance for the child. Under Maryland state law, a judge can order either parent to carry the child on his or her health insurance plan if the child can be included for a reasonable cost. The reasonableness of the cost will vary from case to case, as no two parents’ situations will be the same. Typically, the court will consider which parent has the most affordable policy and which coverage is the most accessible and helpful to the child.
So, how long will the parent have to include the child on his or her policy? In the past, parents usually carried their kids on their health insurance at least until the children reached the age of 18, and up to the age of 23 as long as they were in school fulltime. The laws have changed, however, and under the Affordable Care Act, parents can keep their children on their policies until they reach 26 years of age -- even if they are not in school and not living at home.
Child support and visitation issues can be a serious point of contention between parting parents. That said, divorcing parents are encouraged to seek legal guidance from a skilled Towson family attorney as soon as possible. If you have questions or concerns about your obligations under Maryland law, contact the Law Offices of Amar Weisman, LLC today.
Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation With a Cockeysville & Towson Child Support Lawyer.
Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.
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