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Guidelines for children's medical care after your divorce

Child custody orders cover a variety of situations. One thing usually covered between the child custody and child support orders is the child's health care. It is imperative that you understand what each person's responsibilities are for this area of care.

It can be a challenge to get health care matters figured out when they span two homes. You and your ex will likely have to work as a team to make this happen. This isn't an area where either parent should keep the other parent in the dark. Instead, both should know exactly what is going on so that everyone is on the same page.

Set clear guidelines

There should be clear guidelines for the child's health care needs. An agreement needs to be made about who is going to make health-related decisions for the children. This can be one parent, but some choose to work together.

If there are any aspects of care that should always be done or that should be avoided, those should also be outlined in the guidelines. For example, information about how childhood vaccinations will be handled should be noted. Some parents might choose to bypass these, others might want the child to have every one possible and others may decide to skip out on only specific ones. Having this is writing ensures everyone knows what's going on.

Keep health insurance active

One parent needs to have health insurance on the children. This is usually outlined in the court paperwork. It is often possible for both parents to carry the child on their insurance policies. One of these will be the primary policy and the other will be the secondary, as determined by you and your soon-to-be ex.

Determine how to handle out-of-pocket costs

The out-of-pocket costs for medical care can be considerable. Ensure that the method for covering this is clearly outlined. This should include either percentages that each parent has to cover or the monetary amount that one person pays before the other one starts paying. The way that reimbursements are made should also be set.

Address special concerns

Whether a child has special medical concerns or an emergency occurs, there should be information in the parenting plan to address such matters. Knowing how to handle these situations when they happen can reduce the stress and it ensures both parents receive information about the child's care.

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