Recently my wife had to have done dental work done. IT WAS EXPENSIVE! No… seriously… expensive. Fortunately, we have dental insurance. Otherwise, that $3,000 we paid out of pocket may well have been twice as much.
That got me to thinking about the Family Code and the changes that will go into effect in just a few months. Up until now, the Texas Family Code § 154.008 has only required medical insurance and that the parties split the costs of unreimbursed medical expenses. You can’t imagine how many hearings I have had to participate in where the parents argue about whether braces or glasses were medical expenses and had to be reimbursed. Seriously, coming from parents who claimed to be putting their children first, it was depressing.
Starting September 1, 2018 Texas Family Code §§ 154.008, 154.182, 154.183, 154.188, & 154.189 have been modified, and §§ 154.1815, 154.182, 154. 1825 have been enacted to now include medical, dental/orthodontic insurance and expenses to be split between the parents. Additionally, if the case is a Title IV-D case, the Title IV-D agency can administratively adjust the Medical Support Order (154.1827). For those of you whose cases are not Title IV-D, you will need to hire an attorney to modify the child support and medical support provisions of your order. I’m sure prices vary between attorneys, but all it takes is one bill like the one I got this month to easily cover the cost of hiring an attorney to get this language updated for you.
If your child support order or divorce doesn’t already include language requiring the obligor to provide medical AND dental Insurance and to reimburse for those items that are not covered by insurance, give one of the family law attorneys at Bailey & Galyen a call so that we can file a modification on your behalf. It only takes one of these expenses to make it worth it.