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How are health care costs calculated as part of child support?

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2023 | Child Support, Family Law

In North Carolina, children are a priority, particularly when the parents are in the middle of a divorce. The parents are expected to put their differences aside when it comes to caring for children. Child support orders are meant to fulfill the fundamental needs.

A key part of the order is providing the child with necessary health care. The cost can be a concern for both parents and the support determination is designed to cover it. Parents need to know how the costs will be shared and what happens with uninsured costs. This is a critical part of being prepared.

How health care coverage is allocated

Child support starts with a basic obligation that must be paid. The child’s health insurance is added to that. Each parent’s income will be assessed and the amount they will share for the health care is prorated. This means it is based on how much they earn. If one parent earned more than the other, their share will be higher.

This does not include any health insurance payments that an employer pays if it is not deducted from the parents’ wages. Some families have a health care plan of their own. The costs for the child are added to the basic support obligation to determine how much each parent will contribute. There is a formula that will be used if the specific amount for a child cannot be verified or is unavailable.

Uninsured medical costs will inevitably crop up. This too is addressed in the child support order. As part of the basic order, $250 is added for these expenses. It could include dental care and other forms of treatment. The court has the discretion to order more than $250 annually if the child has a chronic health issue, needs physical therapy, has asthma, needs braces and for other health concerns.

Parents need to understand child support

Finances come to the forefront in many family law cases. Even though both parents want the best for their children, there could be discord as to how much each will contribute. To understand how child support is calculated, it is imperative that the parents are aware of the health care expenses and how each is expected to pay. This is especially true if there are extra costs that are not part of a health insurance plan.