Pre-payment of orthodontics just before 18th birthday

My ex paid a large bill upfront for braces that will span a 9 month period and just a week before my daughter’s 18th birthday. I am in the process of filing for modification of child support to go from two children down to one. Given that this is in essence a pre-payment for 9 months of medical treatments, do I have to pay the full amount or only a pro-rated amount up until the time the new order is established?

If your child support terms are in a court order, then the child support order remains applicable to a child until the child has turned 18 AND has graduated from high school (the statute provides for a few other exceptions if a child won’t graduate on time).

So unless your child support order states otherwise, you would be responsible for your portion through the month that the child turns 18 and graduates high school.

An argument could be made that you should not be responsible for the entire percentage of your portion of uninsured healthcare expenses when a pre-payment has been made and the child will age out of child support before the period of time expires in which the pre-payment covers, although the other parent can likely make a viable argument in the reverse. This will be an issue that will need to be decided on at the time of your child support modification hearing.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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