Every Colorado divorce or Allocation of Parental Responsibilities case involving a child also involves child support. Usually, the child support calculation dictates that one parent pays the other parent based on a series of factors, including the gross income of each parent, the number of overnights each parent has with the child(ren), the number of children, and the cost of the parent who is paying the child(ren)’s health insurance.
However, even after child support is calculated and agreed to, parents must decide how to split what the court deems to be future “extraordinary” medical expenses.
What Are Extraordinary Medical Expenses?
Extraordinary medical expenses are defined as out-of-pocket medical expenses that exceed the first $250 spent on each child per year. Colorado law dictates that these extraordinary expenses are generally shared in proportion to the parents’ incomes, unless the parties agree to a different division, such as splitting these expenses 50/50.
These uninsured expenses can include costs such as:
- Dental treatments, including orthodontic care
- Vision care, such as contact lenses and eyeglasses
- Asthma treatments
- Physical therapy
- Over-the-counter medicine
- Prescription medication
The First $250 in Expenses in Child Support
The confusing portion of dealing with extraordinary expenses is accounting for the first $250.00 for each child. According to the Child Support Commission, the average child can be expected to have approximately $250.00 in uninsured medical expenses each year. Therefore, this $250.00 is built into the general child support calculation.
A parent receiving child support is technically receiving payment for these initial uninsured medical expenses through regular child support payments. This parent is expected to pay the initial $250.00 in uninsured medical expenses for each child each year.
Once the parent receiving child support has spent that $250.00 on uninsured medical expenses in a year, the parents must begin to share the burden of uninsured medical expenses according to their agreement or court order.
Factoring Extraordinary Expenses in Parenting Plans
Each Parenting Plan we create includes terms of payment of child support and medical expenses, ensuring that both parties are protected and clear in their obligations, and most importantly, ensuring that the children have financial stability and will have their medical needs covered.
Every family’s situation is different, and we can take your individual circumstances into account as we craft a financial plan for you and your children that meets your and your children’s needs.
If you have questions about child support and paying medical expenses or need help with any other Family Law needs, please contact the Domestic Team at Cantafio & Song PLLC.