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How are medical expenses handled for child support purposes?

One of the most important considerations when it comes to child support is figuring out how the two parents will handle medical costs for their child. As any Peoria resident who has taken his or her children to the doctor knows, expenses for visits to the doctor, dentist and the like can quickly add up. The expenses can be downright astronomical and overwhelming when a child needs ongoing care and treatments.

Under the Illinois Child Support Guidelines, some of a parent's child support is supposed to go toward out-of-pocket medical expenses. However, courts in this state have other options for dealing with costly medical and dental care as well. After all, expensive though they may be, these treatments are often in the best interests of children and may even be necessary for their ongoing physical and mental health and well being.

Therefore, a court has the authority to order one, or both, parents to procure appropriate health or other insurance of their children which, hopefully, will relieve some of the burden of these bills. While the court's decision will depend on a number of factors, the key question often is whether a parent has insurance available to him or her at an affordable cost.

In addition to requiring health insurance, a judge may also order parents to split the cost of uninsured medical expenses, including expenses for dental treatments, eye exams, braces and the like. While the split may be a 50-50 split, that need not be the case, as the judge has liberty to consider both parents' income and overall ability to pay.

Illinois parents who need to establish a child support order should not forget to think about medical expenses during the process. The advice of an experienced family law attorney can be helpful in this respect.

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