Family law court orders and parent agreements often include a provision for parents to share uninsured medical expenses.
The family court requires California Judicial Council form FL192 Notice of Rights and Responsibilities regarding reimbursement of the child’s or children’s health-care costs be attached to the court order or agreement. The FL-192 form is attached below as a PDF for your convenience.
When working with parents I recommend they use the rules in the FL-192 Notice of Rights and Responsibilities form for all of the child or children’s additional expenses as well as the uninsured health care costs including but not limited to; work related child care costs; children’s school expenses; extracurricular activities; or any other child or children’s expenses that are in the parent agreement or court order.
To better understand the Notice of Rights and Responsibilities lets discuss the guidelines used in the FL-192 form:
Notice. The family court has determined that it is necessary to Notice the other parent about the health care costs within a reasonable time but no more than 30 days from the date the costs were incurred.
The court implemented this Notice after becoming frustrated with parents not communicating about the child or children’s health care costs on a regular basis. Then coming to court after 6 – 24 months later requesting reimbursement.
The parent who was being asked to reimburse for the health care expense often defended the action with a complaint that they did not receive notice or have a right to dispute the child or children’s health care cost.
The court determined that a parent must provide evidence of Notice given to the other parent if they want to be reimbursed.
What Needs to be in the Notice?
Proof of full payment. If a parent pays for 100% of the child or children’s uninsured medical, dental costs, they must provide the other parent proof that they paid for it and ask for reimbursement based on the court order or parent’s agreement. Or
Proof of partial payment. If your parenting agreement is that you each pay 50% of the child or children’s expense and you have paid your 50% then the court requires you to Notify the other parent: Provide the other parent proof that you have paid your share; Ask the other parent to pay their share of the costs to the provider, and Provide the other parent with any necessary information in order for the other parent to pay their portion of the child or children’s health care cost.
How Long do you have to pay your share of the child or children’s expenses?
Once you receive Notice from the other parent identifying the child or children’s health care cost you have 30 days from the time you received the Notice to make payment to the provider or reimburse the other parent. Unless your court order or parent agreement specifies a different time line for payment or reimbursement or the payment schedule set by the provider is different.
How do you dispute a child or children’s health care cost once you have received Notice from the other parent?
First Notify the other parent in writing of your dispute about the cost and why you are disputing the cost. See if the other parent can understand your perspective or possibly answer any questions you may have about why you dispute the charges.
Second – If you cannot resolve the dispute about the child or children’s expenses go to a family law mediator to resolve the dispute.
Last Resort – You can file a motion with the court to request a family court judge resolve your dispute over the child or children’s uninsured health care expenses. Prior to filing the motion, you must pay the disputed amount and then ask for reimbursement. The court may award attorney fees but this is not something you can count on.
See the attached FL-192
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