Any unexpected medical costs can put a significant strain on the finances of a California family. In fact, a simple trip to the emergency room can cost thousands of dollars out-of-pocket if a person’s insurance provider elects not to cover the basis of the sought medical treatment or if the family has not met its deductible. For a single custodial parent trying to provide their child with everything they need, the expense of an uninsured or excessive medical bill can be downright impossible to manage on their own.

Custodial parents will often turn to noncustodial parents for help with significant medical expenses. Though the parents may have provisions regarding medical costs worked out in their child support agreement, uninsured costs may be a different type of issue for them. It is not unreasonable for both parents to contribute to the costs of paying off a medical bill, though different cases may proceed in different ways.

When a custodial parent incurs significant costs related to their child’s health there are some important steps they should take to begin seeking help from their former spouse. First, they should keep copies of all of the invoices, statements and bills that they receive regarding their child’s medical care. Next, they should give the noncustodial parent plenty of notice of the bills’ due dates and informally request that the noncustodial parents assist in the payment of the bills.

Finally, if a noncustodial parent remains unresponsive to the needs of the child and custodial parent, the custodial parent may wish to take further steps to determine if they have a legal case that will help their child get financial support for the repayment of their medical bills and costs. When unexpected medical costs occur, it is important that the expenses are taken care of between the parents in a manner that is fair and appropriate.