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  1. #1
    dez Guest

    Orthodontics' bill

    What is the name of your state? Wisconsin

    I was just about to send a letter to my daughter's father requesting that he pay half of her orthodontist bill. I could have sworn that there was mention in our court papers that said we were to split bills 50/50 if they weren't covered by insurance.

    I looked through the court paper and it does NOT say that. Perhaps someone told me this? Am I assuming too much, or is he legally responsible for half the bill?

    Our joint custody agreement is pretty typical. In the past whatever co-pay or extra amount there was I just paid rather than fight about it. But this bill is a couple grand, and it is only "phase one" of her treatment.
  2. #2
    hexeliebe Guest
    You're assuming too much.

    First, what makes you think that he won't pay half? Have you asked him?

    And second, if it's not in the court papers, you're going to have a hard time getting him to pay the bill.

    He is only morally obligated to pay 1/2 of the bill. But legally, he is not unless it's stipulated in the court papers.
  3. #3
    dez Guest
    I guess I figured that if we had joint custody, even though nothing was specified in the court papers, it would stand to reason that we were jointly responsible for medical/dental expenses.

    If it is not ordered by the court he won't do it...he hasn't in the past. Ours is a very volitile situation, more extreme than most.
  4. #4
    OnlyOneVoice Guest
    As your case is strained, your only option is to go back to court and modify the decree to include his payment of half non-covered medical and dental.

    I would weigh the cost of seeking a modification against the cost of the orthodontics bill and see which gives you the better cash result.
  5. #5
    theother Guest
    You may not get it though. Not to say they won't give it to you, but sometimes orthodontics isn't considered to be medically necessary. Does her condition affect function or is it cosmetic?
  6. #6
    VeronicaGia is offline Senior Member
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    Originally posted by dez
    I guess I figured that if we had joint custody, even though nothing was specified in the court papers, it would stand to reason that we were jointly responsible for medical/dental expenses.

    If it is not ordered by the court he won't do it...he hasn't in the past. Ours is a very volitile situation, more extreme than most.
    do you have joint legal custody, joint physical custody or both? If you have joint legal custody, did you discuss the ortho visits with your ex prior to taking the child? Were you two in agreement?
  7. #7
    Whyte Noise is offline Senior Member
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    With ortho being such a hot topic in decrees anymore, I don't know why they don't just start addressing it specifically. I think this is one of the biggest items that come up when it comes to "uncovered medical expenses". Is ortho considered as part of "medical"...?

    Sometimes it is, depending upon what's actually wrong and how it affects the child "medically"... such as speech problems, etc. Most times, it's considered "cosmetic" though from my understanding. I know that in my decree, ortho AND dental are specifically addressed, and I'm glad they are. I didn't even think about it at the time, but my ex's attorney did and put it in there to be split 50/50 just like everything else.

    To the poster.... if there's nothing in your decree that addresses medical expenses at all... then you need to get it modified to say so. Otherwise, it's gonna be an uphill battle from now until the child turns 18 on who pays what.
  8. #8
    lenore Guest
    I was just curius, in case the order is modified and let's say the judge orders for NCP to pay half of the non covered expence will that apply to the past bills or just to the future. Just a thought!
  9. #9
    VeronicaGia is offline Senior Member
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    Originally posted by lenore
    I was just curius, in case the order is modified and let's say the judge orders for NCP to pay half of the non covered expence will that apply to the past bills or just to the future. Just a thought!
    Orders are only valid from the date filed unless otherwise specified.
  10. #10
    lenore Guest
    YOu mean modification of order
  11. #11
    Whyte Noise is offline Senior Member
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    Originally posted by lenore
    YOu mean modification of order
    If you were talking about VG's post, she meant the order is modifiable from the date it was filed, just as she stated.

    You can file a modification petition on Jan. 1st and it not get heard until August. The judge will usually order the modification be retroactive to the date of filing, which in my example, would be back to Jan. 1st, and anything after that would fall under the new order.

    So, VG is correct in saying that orders are modifiable from the date of filing.

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