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Can I get my ex to help with uninsured medical bills?

Even when one or both parents have health insurance, a child will always have some uninsured medical expenses, which, for purposes of this blog, also include expenses for things like eye and dental appointments.

In other cases, the couple may have expenses that are just not covered by insurance, either because the insurance itself is sub-par or because the expense is not something insurance plans customarily pick up. If a child is extremely ill, expenses may even exhaust the limits of insurance policies.

Child support is supposed to cover typical medical expenses. So, by way of example, a parent who has to buy cold medicine for a child or who does an annual visit to the family doctor may not be able to recoup any portion of those expenses from the other parent. That is, after all, one reason the other parent pays support in the first place.

On the flip side, for larger uninsured medical and medical-related expenses, Illinois law gives judges the discretion to order either or both parents to cover those expenses as part of the court's child support order. On a related point, the court can also order either parent to obtain health insurance for their children.

If a Rockford, Illinois, parent thinks that they may need help with a child's bills, then it is important that they get a court order to that effect when they have the opportunity, as it is better to do so proactively rather than after getting stuck with a large bill. Moreover, even with the proper order, there will need to be appropriate documentation and, possibly, an enforcement action to make sure the other parent actually pays the bill.

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