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Which parent will pay for your child's healthcare costs?

When drafting their parenting agreements, parents always remember the noncustodial parent's obligation to pay a set amount of money each month. However, they don't always consider extraneous expenses and who's responsible to pay for them.

In fact, many parenting agreements leave the issue of extra costs uncovered, and there is a great deal of ambiguity surrounding this important issue that requires exacting clarity to avoid arguments and disagreements later down the line.

Perhaps the most important and potentially largest extra cost in this regard relates to healthcare and medical costs. There are some options available that parents may want to agree to in their parenting plans to cover the issue of healthcare thoroughly.

These options include:

  • The parent who has the better corporate health plan, when considering the balance between costs and services, will list the child on his or her health insurance, if the price is reasonable.
  • When suitable and cost-effective insurance is not offered through an employer, the mother/father/both parents agree to purchase private health insurance for the child.
  • The parents agree to split the cost of health insurance coverage equally with the Parent A paying 50 percent and Parent B paying 50 percent.
  • The parents will provide one another with a copy of the medical insurance care for the child.
  • If non-insured medical expenses arise, the parents agree to split those costs 50/50.
  • The parent who initially pays the expense will give the other parent a copy of the bill within 30 days, and that parent will have another 30 days to pay his or her share of the cost.
  • The parents agree to discuss non-essential healthcare costs before incurring such costs.
  • The parents must both agree to a non-essential medical procedure before agreeing to perform the procedure.

The parents can agree to different healthcare cost-sharing percentages in whatever way they deem is fair and appropriate. Ultimately, the above parenting agreement language can help parents bypass numerous potential areas of disagreement in custody and child support proceedings.

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