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  1. #1

    Question Will I half to pay half of ortho. bill?

    I am in Wisconsin.

    I have joint custody of my children, my ex has physical placement. My ex and I discussed about my oldest daughter getting braces, and when he decided that he was in a situation to pay for them and I told him I couldn't because we are also going thru custody battle and I can't afford braces and a lawyer at this time, he went ahead and had braces put on. He told me that he would put braces on her teeth with or without my help and then he would ask for my half in court. My ex did procede with the braces, not even letting me know of appts, plus he nor the step-mom took my daughter to the ortho, it was her grandma. Wondering if I will have to pay for half of the braces....this was not an emergency thing.
    Also, could my ex's wife have any reprocussions on her signing as my children's mother on medical forms, and emergency cards for school. She has put she is their mother and never even put my name on the forms??????????????? Also, my daughter is 11 and was followed by a car a week ago, and the father nor step-mother ever reported this. I took her to the police and had the report done. Now, my ex and the step-mom have her convinced that this is no big deal. Am I just a freaked out mom?
    Thanks for any input you have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    bbdec1 Guest
    My support/custody agreement stated that both parents would be responsible for 1/2 of the children's medical bills. It does not matter if it is an emergency or not.

    Legally my ex was supposed to pay 1/2 of my child's braces but I was smart enough to get her to sign a contract with the orthodontist. If I had not, the the only way to get her to pay would have been to take her to court with the bills (she has yet to pay toward any other medical bill).

    Most parents would be responsible enough to pay without having to be forced to. As a parent, you take responsibility for their support until they reach adulthood. This includes non-emergency medical procedures.

    As for the ex's new wife, if he has custody, then she has the right to sign school records as their guardian, at least in Tennessee.

  3. #3
    qtpie Guest
    Unless you are Court Ordered to pay for dental expenses, I believe it is unlikely that you would have to assist in paying for braces-especially if you cannot afford it to begin with. Medical and dental are two different things. I know there are alot of CP's out there that think braces are classified as "medical", but they are mistaken.

    I would gather all the evidence that you could from the Dr.'s office, school, etc. that proves you are not listed as the mother on the child's forms. That will not make your ex or his wife look favorable in the event you get taken back to Court for something. You need to document everything.

    I'm sure many NCP's would love to assist in paying for additional expenses for their children. However, when they're being drained just for child support alone, there may not be enough left to help with those special exspense--like braces, etc.

    I don't believe that the step-mom has any right to sign any documents pertaining to the child. I have been under the impression that we step-parents have no legal rights to step-children. That being said, how could we legally sign documents for them? Step-parents have no legal rights to step-children. Also, we have no legal OBLIGATIONS to step-children.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    The rainy state... Where's the sun???

    I'm a step-parent and

    I sign for my ss's school and medical stuff. BUT, they are VERY aware that I am just the Step-mom. SS lives with us. His mom can call the school anytime she wants, has not though. It is her LEGAL right to get any and all information regarding the child from the school. I always give her any info she asks for.
    My problem with this situation though is when the kids don't live with the step-parent and she oversteps her bounds. I would NEVER call the school that my sd's go to and inquire about anything, as they live with their mom.

    Regarding braces, it's not medically necessary and it could wait till she's an adult. Unless there is a medical necessity, I think you can get out of paying. If there is no mention of ortho in the orginial and proceeding orders, you don't pay. Ortho is above and beyond the call of duty. Paying for half of the dental is one thing... Braces is another. Make sure you get a letter from the orthodontist stating that the braces COULD have waited. That way when you go back to court, you can prove that they weren't necessary.
    Although, who wouldn't want their child's teeth to be great? My twins' teeth are perfect. My youngest is on her second phase. My step daughter had braces for 6 years. Medically necessary. My other sd needs them, not medically necessary. They will have to wait till she's older though. She's 12 1/2 now. My ss would Love to have them to straighten out his front. No biggy though.

    Good Luck,

  5. #5
    Thank you for all responses to my question. Just wanted to let everyone know that my daughter's braces were not a necessity, but the ortho. thought it should not wait too long. I was fully intending on paying half in about 6 mo. to a year, but my ex decided to do it when he felt like putting the braces on.

    I have no problem with my ex's wife signing as guardian for my children as he does have physical placement, but I feel that the school forms and medical forms should have my name as mom, not the step-mother.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Just a note on the schol and medical forms...

    it is illegal NOT to list you as MOM on all these forms. though i in my past as a stepmom with a CP signed for a lot of different school and medical things MOM was ALWAYS listed in the mom space. i always listed myself as first contact AFTER Dad and Mom.

    You have a right as the PARENT, to go or send letters to all doctors and schools, explain your situation and provide a copy of custoy arrangement if requested, and get all the MOM info changed to YOU, with all your contact info.

    deltabravo.net has some great form letters you can use for this purpose, i use them every year for my husbands kids school, (I also enclose self addressed stamped envelopes, for the teachers to send info to my husband throughout the year) they really work out good for us.

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