The Guidelines also determine the percentage of certain "add-on" expenses of the children owed by each parent. The Court can include expenses for child care costs, health insurance premiums, extraordinary medical expenses, and other extraordinary expenses, like music lessons and sports fees.
In some cases, the Court may order each parent to pay their percentage of these expenses directly to a third party. In other cases, one parent may pay the full amount and seek a reimbursement from the other parent for their percentage of the total amount paid.
Child Care Costs
The Court is required to add net child care costs to the basic child support amount. The net child care cost equals the total or actual child care costs minus any federal tax credit for child care expenses. The Court needs documentation of child care costs to include in the formula. In addition to net child care costs, the Court has the discretion to add child care costs related to a parent's job training or education necessary for employment or to increase the parent's earning potential.
The Court may order one of the parties to enroll the child in a health insurance plan or to keep the child's coverage on an existing plan. A parent whose employer-sponsored health insurance covers a child will get credited. The parent must show how much of the total monthly premium is used to pay for the child's coverage. If the other parent has children who are covered by their insurance, but are from a different relationship, the total monthly premium is divided by the total number of children covered by the insurance plan. The parent is only entitled to a credit in the amount of coverage that is used for the children who are part of the child support order.
Extraordinary Medical Expenses
Basic child support covers the first $250 per child, per calendar year, in out-of-pocket medical expenses. Extraordinary medical expenses are out-of-pocket expenses, not covered by insurance, that occur after the first $250 spent per child per calendar year.
For example, assume that in less than one year, one child has 5 doctor's appointments and each one costs $50 out-of-pocket. Any expenses incurred after the first $250 count as "extraordinary medical expenses."
Extraordinary medical expenses incurred on behalf of the children can be added to basic child support. The parents can agree to add these expenses or the Court can order them to be added if the parents do not agree.
Other Extraordinary Expenses
If the parties agree, or if the Court orders it, other extraordinary expenses may be added to the basic child support amount. These include:
expenses for tuition, registration, books, and supply fees required for a child to attend a special or private elementary or secondary school to meet the needs of the child.
expenses for transportation of the child from one parent to the other.
special expenses incurred for activities intended to boost the health, athletic, social, or cultural development of a child. These activities include, but are not limited to, camp, music or art lessons, travel, and school-sponsored extracurricular activities.
Unless the parents agree, for the Court to include tuition expenses, the parent who wants to have those expenses added to the basic award will have to prove that the private or special school meets the needs of the child.