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Child custody and medical expenses

80116502_S.jpgThe cost of raising a child is quite expensive. Daycare costs alone are enough to rock the financial stability of even those with well-paying jobs, but there are a whole host of other expenses that can be difficult to tackle. This is especially true when one parent has to go at it alone. Whether a child is born out of wedlock or his or her parents are divorced, divvying up the costs associated with raising a child can be of the utmost importance for all parties involved. However, each parent may have his or her own ideas as to the best arrangement.

One major area that needs to be addressed in a child support dispute is medical expenses pertaining to the child. Ideally, the custodial parent would insure the child so that most, if not all, medical expenses would be covered. The cost of that insurance could then be taken into account when a court orders child support. Yet, far too many families are being hit with medical bills that exceed insurance maximums or are not covered by insurance. In some instances the families simply don't have insurance. Who pays for these extraordinary medical expenses?

There are essentially two ways that this issue can be handled. The first is through negotiation amongst the parents. Here, the parents agree on how uninsured or underinsured medical expenses will be divided. So long as the parents agree to an arrangement, the court will likely approve it. The second way this issue can be addressed is through a court order. Here, a court will assess a number of factors that are laid out in statute to determine a fair arrangement.

Child custody can play an important role for all parties involved. For a custodial parent, it can provide the financial stability that is needed to adequately provide for a child. For a noncustodial parent, while it can be a link to his or her child, child support often becomes overly burdensome. For a child, of course, financial support is paramount to his or her well-being. With so many different interests in play, those affected by a child support dispute, including those dealing with medical expenses, may want to speak with a competent legal professional.

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