Who Pays for Medical Bills in Virginia After Divorce?

The Virginia General Assembly amended the existing Va. Code § 20-108.1, Determination of Child or Spousal Support. Currently, the statute incorporates a minimum $250 annual exclusion for medical bills, and noncustodial parents are not required to pay their statutory share of unreimbursed medical bills until they satisfy the $250 threshold. Thus, if you are the noncustodial parent ordered to pay your child’s other parent a percentage of medical bills, you do not have to pay this until the other parent incurs $250 in unpaid medical bills.

To understand the legal implications of the statutory changes, we should review how Virginia courts calculate child support awards. Typically, noncustodial parents pay child support payments based on their total income shares. As such, if your ex-spouse earns 40 percent and you earn 60 percent of your total income shares, you will pay child support to your ex-spouse based on guideline awards. Other than medical insurance premiums, you may also have to pay a percentage of your child’s unreimbursed medical bills. Thus, if your ex-spouse pays over $250 in unreimbursed medical bills annually, you will have to pay a percentage of those bills.

Before the legislative change, there was no $250 annual income floor. Post-2004 legislative changes, as a custodial parent, you have a legal right to reimbursement from your child’s other parent for uncovered medically necessary dental, vision and medical expenses. This includes co-payments for prescription drugs, orthodontia, prescription glasses and mental health coverage. Thus, if your spouse’s pro-rated percentage of total income was 60 percent, he would have to pay 60 percent of your unreimbursed medical expenses after $250 for each calendar year.

Remember, each calendar year, the calculator starts at $0. If you do not incur at least $250 in medical payments that year, you will most likely get nothing from your spouse.

Contact our office today to help you understand your legal rights as a custodial or noncustodial parent to pay or request reimbursement for medical bills for your minor child.