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Who Is Responsible for a Child’s Medical Needs After a Divorce?

St. Charles divorce attorney parenting time

While married parents are often able to work together to provide for their children and make important decisions about their well-being, the task of co-parenting can be more complicated after a divorce. Divorced parents often need to find a way to coordinate matters regarding their children while living in different homes, and this can be further complicated when there is a certain degree of conflict between the two parents. Matters related to a child’s health and medical needs can be some of the most challenging for divorced parents, especially at a time when health issues are front and center in the public eye.

Which Parent Makes Decisions About a Child’s Health?

Part of the allocation of parental responsibilities during the divorce process is determining how parents will share decision-making authority for their children. Typically, a parent has responsibility for the child’s day-to-day health and routine decisions during his or her scheduled parenting time. This includes fulfilling the child’s needs related to nutrition, sleep, and hygiene, as well as any regular medical needs. If the child has a medical or health emergency during a parent’s parenting time, that parent also has the responsibility to make appropriate decisions to respond to the situation.

However, the authority to make significant decisions about the child’s health, such as decisions involving a course of treatment, a major medical procedure, or an overall health plan for the child, is allocated differently. One parent may be granted sole authority to make such decisions, or both parents may share this responsibility, meaning that they will need to consult with each other before making a decision.

Financial Support for a Child’s Health Needs

In addition to making important decisions about their child’s health, parents will also typically need to share the financial responsibility of providing for a child’s medical and health care. The basic child support obligation in Illinois accounts for $250 per child per year in regular, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and along with the other regular expenses of raising a child, this amount will be distributed between parents according to Illinois’s income shares model.

However, medical expenses for a child can sometimes be much higher. If a child has special physical or emotional needs, or if he or she has an illness, injury, or condition that requires extraordinary treatment, the court may include these added expenses in the child support order. The court may also order one or both parents to provide for the child’s health insurance.

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney

Caring for your child’s health becomes no less important after your divorce. As you work toward a divorce resolution, our St. Charles divorce lawyers can help you pursue an arrangement in which you and your spouse contribute your fair share in providing for your child’s medical needs. Call us today at 630-382-8050 to schedule a private consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k505.htm

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/SiteCollectionDocuments/TechnicalDocumentationIllinoisScheduleNetIncomeTable.pdf

 

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