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Including Medical Expenses in Child Support

A father and daughter playing a board game and high fiving each other with big smiles, representing how one can benefit from calling a Chicago child support lawyer.

Parents have a legal duty to provide financially for their children. In the case of single parents and those who have gone through a divorce, child support orders ensure this obligation is met and that the child in question has what they need to thrive. While the focus in determining child support amounts often centers around what each parent earns, it is important to give special consideration to the total expenses involved in raising the child. With the high costs of healthcare today, out-of-pocket medical expenses need to be included in these calculations. 

Health Insurance and Your Child Support Order

Regardless of whether you and the other parent are on amicable terms, it is important to have a formal child support order in place. Not only does this help in making sure any current or past due amounts owed are paid, but it also helps to ensure you get the maximum amount to which you are entitled. 

When filing for child support through the Illinois courts, you will need to fill out a Support Obligation Worksheet. This lists each parent’s income (if unemployed, the court will consider their skills, past wages, and their earning potential), as well as some of the child’s basic expenses, including health insurance. Generally, if one parent has health insurance through their employer, the child can be covered through this policy. While the costs of the child’s premiums will be divided between each parent, it is also important to calculate out of pocket costs. This includes: 

  • Copays for doctors office, emergency room, and hospital visits, as well as for any tests or treatments required;
  • Yearly deductibles which must be met before coverage begins;
  • Contributions to health savings plans, which help to ensure out of pocket costs are paid. 

Medical Expenses Pertaining to Children

The Illinois Department of Health and Family Services (HFS) offers a child support estimator to calculate the amount to which you may be entitled. However, to ensure you are getting the maximum amount you need to provide for your child, it is important to include other medical expenses outside of basic health insurance costs. These can add up to significant amounts and are likely to include: 

  • Dental care, including orthodontic treatments which may be required in the future;
  • Vision care, including annual testing and prescription glasses or contacts as needed;
  • Medicines, including those obtained through the pharmacy and over the counter;
  • Medical aids or special treatments, which may be required for children with chronic conditions or other special needs. 

Our Chicago Child Support Attorneys are Here to Help

The Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group is dedicated to ensuring you and your children are provided for. To discuss how we can help in your case, contact our Chicago child support attorneys today to schedule a consultation. 

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.