Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Can I get the other parent to help with medical bills?

When two Orange County, California, parents who are no longer living with each other have a child in common, they are also going to have a lot of expenses that they, as loving parents, will spend on their child's behalf.

For most of these expenses, like food and clothing, the parent who has the child most of the time will provide for them out-of-pocket, and the other parent will pay his or her share through a child support payment. At least in theory, the amount of child support will be calculated so that both parents are paying their fair share of expenses.

Medical bills, however, are a different matter. As any parent knows, even if there is health insurance in place for the child through the court's orders, these uninsured bills can quickly add up. Typically, one parent, usually the one with whom the child lives most of the time, will arrange with the doctor or dentist to get treatment for the child. Along with those arrangements, the parent will promise to pay the bills.

It is only fair at this point that the other parent should pay his or her fair share of these expenses, as they would certainly be responsible to meet their child's medical needs if the parents still lived together. A judge ordering child support will typically, as part of that order, make a ruling that sets out how much each parent must contribute to child support expenses.

There are exceptions to this rule, and a parent who wants to get help from the other parent will be expected to follow certain procedures before returning to court to demand payment.

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