Child support – Reimbursement of Expenses

Family law court orders and parental agreements often include a provision for parents to share uninsured medical expenses or other expenses of the child. 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 are attached to the court order or mediated agreement.

Parents should keep track of these expenses and use the rules in the FL-192 Notice of Rights and Responsibilities form as a guideline for all of the child or children’s additional expenses. These expenses include uninsured health care costs, work-related child care costs; school expenses and any other expenses that may be included in an existing order or any potential agreement. It is important to remember when seeking reimbursement once an agreement or order has been established, a parent must give written notice that they are seeking reimbursement. This notice can be no more than 30 days from when the costs were incurred.

Many times a parent will let the costs accrue without the other parent’s knowledge and the reimbursing parent is left facing a larger bill than they could have imagined they would have to pay. A requirement of a 30-day reasonable notice of the expenses alleviates this problem. The requesting parent just needs to provide proof that the expenses for which they are seeking reimbursement have actually been paid for and not for something they anticipate they will be an expense.

The terms for how much the reimbursement will be is set forth in the order or agreement. It may be in full or for a partial payment. Nevertheless, notice must be provided to the other parent. The reimbursing parent has 30 days from the date of the notice to pay for the expenses unless otherwise stated in the order or agreement. The payment may be ordered to be directly to the other parent or directly to the provider.

In the event that the expenses are in dispute, notice of the dispute must also be in writing.

A mediator can be very helpful in resolving these disputes without resorting to a costly court hearing.