When a Pennsylvania couple divorces and they have children, the care of the child and meeting his or her best interests becomes paramount. While that includes having a home, proper clothing, education, food and extracurricular activities, it is also imperative that the child has medical coverage. There could be misunderstandings or disputes as to which parent must provide that medical support. Knowing how state law addresses this issue is fundamental in a case.
According to the law, the court can order either parent to provide medical coverage if it is at reasonable price or no cost. There are percentages to determine whether it is “reasonable cost.” It cannot go beyond 5% of the providing parent’s net income per month. When the decision is made, both parents’ incomes are considered. The court will make the decision as to how much medical support each parent must contribute to the child. It will also decide which parent is primarily responsible to cover the child. In general, this will be the parent who can provide that coverage through work at reasonable cost.
Either the custodial or the noncustodial parent may be ordered to cover the child’s medical care. When the noncustodial parent is providing it, the premiums, cash and other aspects of medical support must be within the amount allowed in the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act. Both parents could be asked to pay part of the medical expenses. If a parent does not make the payments as required, enforcement actions could be undertaken by the state.
When there is a divorce, children are often caught in the middle and might even be afterthoughts as the parents are embarking on a court battle. Of course, in some cases, the parties are amicable and capable of negotiating. Whether it is contentious or cordial, the child’s care must be addressed and that obviously includes medical care.
Regardless of the situation, child support is an integral part of any family law case and medical care is a vital subset of that. The child must have adequate medical care. For there to be a medical order or to settle any disputes about it, having legal advice may be essential. A qualified family law firm might help with understanding medical coverage and any other part of child support.