Responsibility for Your Child’s Medical Expenses

Issues involving child support can be rather complicated and, of course, intensely personal. As a parent, you no doubt recognize that you have responsibility to help provide for your child. Exactly what that responsibility may entail is often in dispute, as parents often have different opinions on the definition of reasonable contributions. The state of Illinois, as you might expect, provides a guideline for baseline considerations of financial child support, while granting fairly wide discretion for the court to factor in needs for supplemental concerns such as educational and medical expenses.

Basic Support Needs

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the state expects a minimum order for child support to be calculated using a fairly simple formula. The minimum obligation is expected to “provide for the reasonable and necessary educational, physical, mental and emotional health needs of the child.” Such needs are generally considered to encompass shelter, food, clothing, and other day-to-day necessities. The formula set forth in the law takes into account two factors: the supporting parent’s net income and the number of children to be supported, calculating the amount of a support according to a percentage scale ranging from 20 percent of net income for one child to 50 percent for six or more.

Additional Considerations

The law does recognize, however, that the minimum support requirement is not always sufficient. In many cases, the child may have additional needs with which the supporting parent may be required to assist. For example, consider a scenario in which a child of divorce develops an extremely serious medical condition, requiring complicated and expensive care and long-term treatment. The court is granted to the discretion to increase the supporting parent’s obligation to help cover the costs of such care, including ordering the supporting parent to secure medical insurance for the child.

If you are a parent with the majority of the parenting time with your child—previously known under the law as the custodial parent—and your child’s medical needs have made it difficult for you to stay afloat, you may petition the court to increase the other parent’s support requirement. You will need to demonstrate the child’s needs with evidence such as a doctor’s prognosis, current medical bills, and valid research regarding your child’s condition. The court will take the submitted information into account, along with the supporting parents financial resources and needs to make an equitable determination.

We Can Help

Throughout any type of child support proceeding, it is crucial to have an experienced Orland Park family law attorney on your side. Contact our office to learn more about the child support law in Illinois and how our team may be able to assist you in getting the help you need. Schedule your free consultation with Kezy & Associates by calling 708-518-8200 today.