As any Rockford, Illinois, parent knows, even routine medical bills can get quite expensive. Not all health insurance plans are created equal, and some still leave a family having to shoulder thousands of dollars of bills.
This is a particular problem when, for whatever reason, a child has special medical needs that require additional and ongoing expenses. With respect to parents who live in separate households and either have or will soon have a child support order in place, one of them may wonder whether and to what extent they can get the other parent to chip in for these extra medical expenses.
Under the Illinois Child Support Guidelines, child support is supposed to pay for basic uninsured medical needs. What this means is that, for ordinary out of pocket expenses, a parent who is paying child support each week can expect that a portion of that money is going to medical bills. The cost of health insurance is also, incidentally, figured in to the child support calculation.
However, under Illinois law, judges are allowed to deviate from these guidelines for good reasons. On a practical level, this means that a parent can ask the child’s other parent, even if he or she is paying support, to also contribute to extra medical bills that are necessary for the care and treatment of the child’s condition.
It is important for these parents to remember that they cannot assume a court will deviate from the guidelines upon their say-so. They will need to show evidence that their child actually does have special medical needs that result in extra expenses which, in fairness, both parents should cover. An experienced Illinois family law attorney can help a parent gather the appropriate evidence and attempt to make the case for additional child support.