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How do dental bills get split?

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture
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So my boyfriend will be seeing the lawyer Friday but until then I wanted to know what others did in this sort of case.

Currently the kids BM has been taken them to dental appointments without consulting BD. Lawyer said that legally she doesn’t have to yet however she ran into a problem. She has already spent all of their insurance money and daughter still needs some work done. The dentist won’t do it until mom is paid up.
Up until last Friday the only thing my boyfriend has been sent was credit card receipts from the dental office with no information or proof that the charges were for the children at all. Considering biomom tells him one thing and daughter would say another he demanded the listen of charges from the dental office.
She finally complied with his and the lawyers request and that is part of how we found out about the insurance being used up. That and Friday when he picked up the kids she tried to demand he pay right then and there over $400.

How do medical bills normally get split and how long does the other parent have to pay? She’s been running up this bill since January and there’s no way he can hand over $400 all at once. They are going through the whole divorce / custody. Boyfriend will be paying child support and since his job changed him from part time to full time he will most likely cover the kids insurance also. He doesn’t have a degree so it’s not like he’s making a ton of money to start with and after all is said and done things will be tight for him.

Is there any sort of cap that can be placed on how much he’s expected to pay for out of pocket expenses? I mean emergencies are one thing but this is dental stuff that can be planned out to maximize use of insurance and availability of funds. I as an adult spent 4 years getting work done because I would hit the max amount allowed on insurance.

The daughters already had A LOT of work done this year and there’s still a lot to do. He should have them on his insurance starting in June since he has to wait the mandatory time from being hired. When that happens insurance will be available again but when that’s gone? My thought is since it isn’t emergency it’s up to the parents and the dentist to figure out what needs to happen ASAP and what can wait till more funds are available. The daughter doesn’t complain about pain or any issues like that and we're talking a lot of work that without insurance could cost 2000+ out of pocket.

Again I want to stress he is in no way trying to say the children shouldn’t get medical care. He has been requesting the insurance information from BM incase anything ever happens while they are in his care but she won’t send it. He’s also asked that the children start therapy and is willing to do it on his time since where we live therapist will see clients on weekends but once more she refuses to give him the insurance information and claims that nowhere down there takes it (because that’s what the school told her) .

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

She will have primary with him getting visitation and keeping shared legal.

We planed to ask the lawyer Friday but I was wondering. Even more so since now it will look like he's going to carry them on insurance too.

Rags's picture

In our case the CO was clear. The NCP provides insurance (he never did so we did and his CS was adjusted upwards by the court to pay the increased premiums on my employer provided plan to cover the Skid) and anything not covered by insurance was to be split 50/50 by the CP and NCP.

That is what most people seem to have in their CO though there are certainly many who don't.

In these situattions there is some elements that can be addressed. Since BM initiated the care for the Skid it is arguable that she is responsible for the bill.

What does BF's CO say?

He needs to get to court ASAP to get a CO if he doesn't have one.

When it comes to nonpayment of the uncovered half of a Skid's medical costs many family courts will kick it to another court if one or the other parent refuses to pay the other back.

That is what happened to us. The SpermIdiot refused to pay and the family court refused to address the issue and told us to sue them.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

He is going through the process of creating the CO now. What he has has not been through the court yet. He is trying to work with her through lawyers to have everything settled and then present it to the judge without any fighting in court. (If he can do this the lawyer is really cutting his cost for us. If he go to court he will owe more.)

The current agreement isn't very complete so there's no real grounds for how to handle this. He is not opposed to helping but all of these visits were done without his knowledge.

The bigger issue is she wants to keep going. That's why she FINALLY gave him the real paperwork from the dentist office. Yes he could have called and tried to get it himself we realize but before Friday she only ever posted credit card receipts through their co-parenting app. Now though she wants to do more with the daughter but the dentist office said not till she pays the bills she has because insurance is maxed.

My thought is that as a parent she should have worked with the dentist to take care of the most important things first. Once insurance is used up the rest waits till the another year. Instead she wants to do it all this year.

I understand that emergencies happen but dental care is not an emergency. What she's done already equals out do an extra hundred a month on top of what he will pay for child support and from looking at the future plan there's still another 2000+ planed out.

He and I split bills for a little two bedroom apartment. I know his financial situation. He doesn't have an extra 1000 to give. The 400 alone will be tough if the judge does say he has to pay it. He works nights for Sam's club and when he can he goes to donate plasma for a little extra but that leaves him so drained that its tough for him to do anything else. We do our best to make sure the kids have everything they need when they come visit. I can't and won't be responsible for his bills. I have my own debt to take care of.

He's not the type who wouldn't pay. I've already saw him almost lose his apartment twice so that his kids had what they needed.

Rags's picture

It is unlikely that the court will do anything about forcing him to pay the already accrued dental bills. If they do it is likely that they will be limited to how much they can recover of those costs on a monthly basis.

In our case the family court indicated that they could not nail the NCP for his share of medical costs not covered by insurance and could only go after his CS arrears at a maximum of $50/mo.

Maxwell09's picture

How it should be? Both parents have skids on their insurance. One (the better one) as primary and the other as Secondary. Co pays are paid for by the parent who's taking the kid to the ER, After Hour Clinic, whatever. Big bills like Fillings, root canals etc should be split 50:50 after insurance if the work is necessity-so this doesn't include unnecessary braces for cosmetic purposes). Make sure you put anything not mutually agreed upon by both parents is to be paid by the parent responsible. This is to protect both parents from the other Dr shopping for medication or for things like braces or other unnecessary treatments.

The way it works in our corner of the world is that DH has SS on his insurance. The judge didn't order her to pay Child Support or anything medical/education/health related so DH gets stuck paying everything. BM was suppose to pay her half of SS filings but she only agrees to pay her half of things when she also asks for a favor. If DH says "no" to her favor she says she's not paying. If she wants SS to see a specific specialist she had to pay the Co-pay back to DH. She's only done it once (dermatologist) and it doesn't come close to the other bills we've had to pick up because she just changed her mind.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

They can't afford to both have them on insurance on the kids. Right now biomom has them on a state provided plan though the ACA. At first it was going to stay that way because boyfriend working only part time meant he wasn't going to get insurance for a year. Thankfully they brought him on full time but now we have to find out the information about the plan and then will have to adjust the child support to reflect him covering the insurance since his take home will be less.

Indigo's picture

They are married still, right?

All debts are joint debts and will be addressed by the divorce decree/CO. They may have "temporary orders " which outline some support/household expenses, that is still not permanent. BF's wife can do whatever she likes and BF will be jointly liable. Children's necessary dental/medical care should not be put off, IMHO.

BF knows who the child's dentist is, so I don't understand why he hasn't popped over there months ago to get copies of medical/dental records. BF could have called the insurance carrier or checked the website for EOB's since he was on notice. This is all on your BF it seems.

Married couples pay for their children out of whatever bank account or credit card necessary. Just more marital debt to be divided. Guess I don't understand the question here.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

They are legally separated. Her bills are her bills and her credit cards are her credit cars. They do not have joint accounts.

Because this is the kids she can request but we don't know what the judge will decide since she is not talking to him.
He is not on notice and has no information about the kids insurance. It took discovery for us to find out that they did have insurance though the state ACA but as for the specifics he has not ability to get it since she has it in her name solely. He was not informed of what dentist she was using until a bit ago and because she is attempting to terminate his legal custody (wont happen) he is unsure if they will even talk to him.

She raised hell when he recently talked to the school about getting the kids in some sort of therapy because of behavior issues. Like I said she has attempted to act as if he has not legal custody to the children which though she can't prove he can't prove differently either. Since she is the only one taking them to the dentist and the only one on the contact it would be difficult for him to get information because of privacy laws.

The question is once he is obligated to pay the debt how long is he given since handing over $400 at one time is impossible.
Also how much can she take them to the dentist and expect him to pay or can he say no more since insurance isn't covering anymore. There's still $2000+ planned work that she wants to have done NOW while he'd prefer it wait if it can. Dental isn't emergency and the daughter doesn't complain of any pain.

She's already attempted to say braces for the daughter but there's no way he can afford that right now.

Indigo's picture

You're off into a situation that I have no clue about ... Yikes. I don't know anyone who filed for a formal legal separation, just the ones using temporary orders prior to divorce. I would think that all of the details would have been hammered out in the legal separation. If not, ... BM may still get what she asks for since it is "for the children" and it is assumed that parents will share child costs.

BF can likely take a copy of his separation agreement and a copy of the child's birth certificate to the dentist to get the particulars. Perhaps at that time, they can have a discussion about medically necessary treatments and "nice to do in the future" treatments. Wishful thinking that the dentist would then but those recommendations in writing. Any payment plan can be made with the dentist so that funds are used for purpose intended. The dentist can "repay" stb-ExDW for any overcharge. I wouldn't give stb-ExDW anything if she is that obstructive.

In my case, I have to submit bills to exDH w/in 10 days and then he has 30 days to pay. This is intended to prevent hitting either parent with thousands of dollars of unreimbursed expenses. ExDH is responsible for all unreimbursed medical expenses over a certain amount. I don't bother sending him bills anymore since he has never paid any that I have given him through the years. He does pay CS and health insurance premiums, so I figure that I'm lucky. Smile

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

As far as I understood the legal separation was recognized when they started the divorce claim and they both agreed that it happened on x date. Their separation will be recognized as of then. So no they are working on hammering out the details now through the lawyers. This is one of them, including who covers children's insurance, what he will pay in child support, and official visitation agreements. They are also going through marital assets since she left him pretty much homeless and took nearly everything including joint taxes to buy a new car. There's alot of lose ends that they are going through.

I still don't have the main question answered of how much dental work (which is no emergency) can she do then expect him to cover. She's maxed the insurance and still wants to rush through everything else. She may have credit cards and this or that but he does not. He is living pay check to pay check and an extra 100+ a month is not possible. There's got to be an end point.

I may just be stuck till we see the lawyer Friday. I do appreciate everyone's input. It's very clear that it's just a case by case thing with no real standards.

Tried out's picture

If it was me, I would ask for a consult with the dentist to discuss the timeline in which the work had to be completed. I'm sure s/he has worked with insurance caps before and would understand the need for working around them.

Plus I would want to understand each step of the process and its necessity. In a perfect world dental care would be free to everyone, but it's not. Sometimes parents just can't afford the cost of every expensive procedure even when they want to very badly. 

Rags's picture

Generally medical bills are split 50/50 after insurance pays out what is covered.   In our case the CO was clear.  The CP and NCP were to split any Skid related medical expenses not covered by insurance.

We attempted to get the ball-less idiot on the family law bench wearing the idiot Harry Potter robes and slinging his Fisher-Price wooden hammer to nail their asses to the wall for their share of Skid medical expenses but the wizard robed moron had no balls for it and told us to take them to small claims court.

So, based on what the SpermClan in our situation got away with as far as not stepping up to pay their half of SKid medical and ental costs not covered by insurance, if it is advantagious to you and DH... pay nothing.  Tell BM that she is the CP and it is her responsibility to provide for the Skids medical/dental care and if she wants to fight it court... tell her to go file.  Just be ready to cut a small check to get the robed moron to STFU then go back to ignoring BM on the topic.  You can always take the Skid to a different Dentist for treatment and tell them to bill the CP for it giving the new Dentist her address and telephone number.

We still bill the SpermClan twice a year for their Skid related medical costs after we apply penalties and interest in accordance with the IRS penalties and interest tables.  They used to get all spun up about it, not they just keep their mouths shut. We mail it with delivery confirmation so that they cannot claim non reciept if and when we decide to nail their idiot worthless asses to the wall for what is now $10K+.

In all liklihood we will never sue them for it, though neither will we let them forget that we have it all hanging over their heads .... just in case they try any shit with my Skid.

Rags's picture

My SS's Custody/Visitation/Support  CO clearly split any medical related costs not covered by insurance between the bioparents.  That included co-pays, Rx costs, dental, vision, etc.....

If it isn't in your CO, then get it in the CO.  Because if it isn't in the CO, then odds are the Judge will rule that CS covers the NCP's share of all kid related costs.

Good luck. 

 

anatemtyn's picture

Hmm, that sounds awkward, actually. I don't know how the medical bills have to be split. I mean, I don't know how it is right to do from the legal point of view, as we have always broken the medical deals 50%-50%. We never had any issues from that point of view. From my point of view, they have to make an "agreement" without the lawyer. The lawyers will tend to take out all the benefits for their clients. We are talking about his kid, and I think they should solve it by themselves. By the way, if they cannot visit the dentist right now, you could make a tooth filling at home. It is a temporary solution, though. They will still have to visit a dentist.

Loxy's picture

I can't comment on any legalities as I live in Australia and CO's are not the norm here as they appear to be in the US. However, the way we do it is outside of CS payments, all agreed costs are split equally between DH and BM. BM pushed for the first couple of years for DH to pay for everything and we just kept pushing back until she eventually accepted that was how it is. For the record, both DH and BM are high income earners so more than capable of contributing to all costs.

The key point of above is the word 'agreed' before costs. If BM pays for something that's not agreed then we won't pay for half unless we think it's reasonable.  Recently, she booked a hotel for SD16 for schoolies (this is an end of high school week-long celebration) and costs a bomb (ie hotels jack up their prices by 50% etc). Anyway we had agreed with BM that we weren't that keen on SD going and then next thing we know BM has paid a deposite for SD on a room - she can never say no to SD. 

BM recently asks us if we would pay half that deposit and we said no becuase she did not discuss or agree it with us first and she accepted that (no doubt complaining behind out back) but she's well trained to know when we say no we mean it.