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Extraordinary medical expenses

Callie's picture

Do any of you know the definition of "extraordinary medical expenses"? We pay half of all SD's medical bills, but I was looking over the support order and I don't quite understand it.

"Unless specifically ordered otherwise, the person receiving support is responsible for ordinary health care expenses of the children. However, both parents have an obligation to pay their share of extraordinary health care expenses. Extraordinary health care expenses mean those monthly medical expenses that exceed 5% of the basic support obligation from the Child Support Schedule Worksheet, Line 5."

So our 5% is $31.00. So does that mean we pay half of the amount over $31.00? Or, if it is over $31.00 we pay half? So if the bill is $32 do we pay $16 or $.50? Does that make sense?

Also, what does that include? If BM gives us a receipt for an ankle brace that she bought for SD at a drug store is that considered a medical expense? In my opinion, that would be in the daily care catagory like Tylenol or bandaids.

Can anyone help clarify?

mishsea's picture

In my own opinion, if your looking a few hundred dollars here and there, it is worth your time to calculate it out? What's the ankle bracelet? $20? It would be worth it to me just to pay her the $20 and be done with it. It's not like a BM can electively spent excessive amounts of money on medical expenses, and presumably can't spend large amounts of money on care that wouldn't involve consultation with the child's father.

If you want to know technically how it works, you should probably go back to the lawyer who helped put the paperwork together.

Mocha2001's picture

Callie are you in WAshington State? Sounds like it from the way you read the language. Anyway ... extraordinary expenses are legally classified as out of the ordinary. In otherwords, and annual check up, or taking a child to the Dr. when sick is not extraordinary. A broken arm, hospital stay, or surgery is extraordinary.

Hope that helps.

~ Katrina

Caly71's picture

I am in Washing ton state and I have the same question as Callie. I would like to know what is considered an extraordinary expenses. I have goggled it and there is no clear definition of what this is. Do you count braces, and it was not a joint decision. My husbands ex wife just went ahead and did it and now wants some money back that is not covered. If anyone has the definition of what WA State considers extraordinary expense please let me know.

questions's picture

I have the same question from the same state. Is orthodontia considered "extraoridinary"? I went to the law library to look for the definition and could not find anything concrete. I was directed to ask a lawyer.

kris19's picture

The State of Washington says Health care costs shall include, but not be limited to, medical, dental, orthodontia, vision, chiropractic, mental health treatment, prescription medications, and other similar costs for care and treatment. This is not Extraordinary expense.

nene27's picture

Hi there, We are going through the same exact thing. My husbands ex is having braces put on J and I am trying to get her to understand that this is a extraordinary medical expense. She seems to think its an out of pocket expense. She is crazy and makes no sense. So I told her we would pay our 35% of the cost after insurance pays their part. She is like ill just let child support deal with it. She is wanting us to pay whatever the insurance doesnt cover. She is out of her mind. Any advise you can give?

kris19's picture


You will need to look at the Support Order. Washington State says Health care costs shall include, but not be limited to, medical, dental, orthodontia, vision, chiropractic, mental health treatment, prescription medications, and other similar costs for care and treatment. Our order states that Both parents need to provide Health Insurance, however my husband is responsible for 100% of extraordinary expenses which would be ER, Hospital stay or surgery. CO-pays are not extraordinary. And if you are providing insurnace and the mother is taking the child to an out of network provider then that should be her problem, not yours. You provide the insurance and if she chooses NOT to use it then shame on her.

Rags's picture

Unfortuneatley there is no right answer to this question. In my experience.

In our case both BioParents are responsible for half of all uncovered medical expenses. This includes co-pays, deductibles, etc....

But, BioDad refuses to pay crap for any uncovered medical expenses so the dollars, interest and penalties keep pileing up.

Eventually he will just file bankruptcy and we won't see a dime.

Good luck and best regards,

Success is rarely final. Failure is rarely fatal. It is character, courage and consistency of effort that count. Vince Lombardi (with some minor Rags modifications) To each according to their performance, screw Karl Marx. (Rags)

BabyKat's picture

Regarding "Extraordinary" Medical Expenses:
I live in Michigan and have experience with paying extraordinary expenses. My husband's child support order includes a stipulation regarding medical. It requires his ex to cover "ordinary" medical expenses in the amount of $690 per year before she can ask him for help. FOC used some formula to calculate this out, and it is for two children. The support order also stipulates that my husband is to pay 75% of "extraordinary" medical expenses.
Extraordinary simply means anything beyond the $690 his ex has to cover each year. It has nothing to do with the type of care the child gets (like emergency room vs. well-child check). FOC is simply saying, "Mom, you get child support and you are responsible for your kids medical bills. However, should you have an "extraordinary" year where the kids are sick a lot or one needs an operation or something, we'll make Dad help you out." So, she has to pay all the medical bills until she reaches that magic $690 she's responsible for. Then, every time she pays a copay or fills a prescription or anything, she sends us a bill for 75%. That is how we are required to pay for "extraordinary" medical. Let me know if I can help with anything. Been doing this a while now.

maryjoh's picture

I have the same question but it is about medical in the state of son needed braces but i was told that his father (we were never married)does not have to pay for cosmetic expenses which i was told is cosmetic.can anyone tell me anything about ohio and the obligations of a father when it comes to braces.concerned

SugarSpice's picture

in the divorce decree of dh from his ex, it stipulated the father pay three-quarters of all medical and dental expenses. plus dh was paying for a lot of other things like bicycles cell phones and expensive prom gowns. what was bm doing with all of the cs money? buying a new house and new cars so she could feather the nest she made with the man she left the father for. (bm cheated with a married man who divorced his wife to marry her. fast forward 20 years. second husband cheated on bm! justice served!

Rags's picture

Exraordinary to me is anything medically Rx'd but not covered by insurance. An ankle brace is not Rx'd. BM can FO on that one.

Our CO required both the CP and NCP to pay half of all medical expenses not covered by insurance.