In ordering child support, there are two kinds of additional child support that the court can include in its order. The first are mandatory add-ons. These are items that the court must order as additional child support. The second kind is discretionary add-ons. For these, the court can use its discretion in deciding whether or not to include discretionary add-ons as additional child support.
The court must order the following as additional child support:
- Child care costs related to employment or to reasonably necessary education or training for employment skills.
- Reasonable uninsured health care costs for the children.
Uninsured Health Care Costs
In making an order for reasonable uninsured health care costs, the court must perform the following:
- Advise each parent of the parent’s rights and liabilities, including financial responsibilities.
- Include in the order the time period a parent has to reimburse the other parent for the first parent’s share of the uninsured health care costs.
Statement or Proof of Payment
The parent who incurs the uninsured health costs must provide the other parent with an itemized statement of the costs he or she has incurred, within a reasonable time. It must be provided not more than 30 days after incurring the costs. A parent who has already paid all of the costs must also provide proof of payment and a request to the other parent for reimbursement for his or her court-ordered share.
When a parent has only paid his or her share of the costs, he or she must provide proof of payment and send a request to the other parent to pay the remainder of the costs directly to the provider. In this case, the other parent must reimburse or pay the remaining costs within the period specified by the court.
If there is no time period specified for the payment of costs, payment or reimbursement must be made within a reasonable time not to exceed 30 days from notification of the amount due, or according to any payment schedule set by the provider. The parties may also agree in writing to another schedule of payment. The court can also use its discretion for setting another schedule if it finds there is a good cause for it.
When a parent wants to dispute a request for payment, he or she must first pay the requested amount before seeking judicial relief. Judicial relief may also be sought if the reimbursing parent fails to make the requested payment.
The court is empowered with a wide array of powers in enforcing an order for additional child support such as execution, appointment of receiver, or contempt. The court can also award filing costs and reasonable attorney’s fees if it finds that either parent acted without reasonable cause regarding that parent’s obligations to pay health care costs. Either parent pro per or through their Roseville child support attorney may file a noticed motion to enforce an order.
There is presumption that the costs actually paid for a child’s uninsured health care needs are reasonable. However, this is a rebuttable presumption.
Health Insurance Coverage Used
The health care insurance coverage provided by a parent under court order is the coverage that must be used at all times unless the other parent shows that this coverage is inadequate to meet the child’s needs. When a parent obtains additional health care insurance coverage, he or she bears sole financial responsibility for its costs and any care or treatment obtained under this coverage that exceed costs that would incur under coverage provided for in the court order.
The court must consider all relevant facts when ruling on a motion filed regarding additional support. The following are considered relevant facts:
- The geographic access and reasonable availability of necessary health care for the child which complies with the terms of the health care insurance coverage paid for by either parent pursuant to a court order. Health insurance shall be presumed to be accessible if services to be provided are within 50 miles of the residence of the child subject to the support order. If the court determines that health insurance is not accessible, the court shall state the reason on the record.
- The necessity of emergency medical treatment that may have precluded the use of the health care insurance, or the preferred health care provider required under the insurance, provided by either parent pursuant to a court order.
- The special medical needs of the child.
- The reasonable inability of a parent to pay the full amount of reimbursement within a 30-day period and the resulting necessity for a court-ordered payment schedule.