When parents divorce, working out fair parenting and child support agreements is crucial to providing for the children in the marriage. Among the many issues all divorcing parents should address, medical child support is one of the most important. In some instances, parents get lucky and never have to deal with major medical expenses for their children. However, if a child does need medical care at some point, one or both parents must pay for any expenses not covered by medical insurance.

If you face divorce as a parent, do not brush past this issue without fully addressing it. Depending on various factors in your marriage and your lives as single parents raising children in tandem, you may not only hold liability for unexpected medical expenses, you may not have final say in the medical care your children receive.

It is unwise to put your child’s future at risk by attempting to navigate these matters without professional legal counsel. You may have more options than you realize you have, and you may even find ways to negotiate favorable terms throughout these agreements with the guidance of an experienced family law attorney.

Who pays and who decides when it comes to medical care?

Courts generally prefer to leave medical decisions up to parents rather than inserting mandates into the private decisions of a family. This is particularly true when it comes to the care of a child, where different parents may have different views on various medical procedures and treatments.

For instance, some parents may not object to giving their children certain kinds of medication, while others may have religious or personal reasons for choosing to use or avoid the same treatment.

Similarly, parents may have serious disagreements about medical care, like whether a child receives oral braces, eyeglasses and other non-essential medical care. The parent who holds the primary liability for covering these uncovered medical expenses is not always the parent who has final say over the matter, depending on the terms of parenting and support agreements.

Make it a priority to understand your children’s needs and your obligations

Once you understand the scope of these agreements, it is much more feasible to reach fair terms for them. Be sure to protect yourself and the children you love by seeking out all the guidance that you need to negotiate fair terms while keeping your children’s best interests at the heart of the process.