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Extraordinary Medical Expenses

Which Expenses Are Considered Extraordinary?


Question: My child’s medical expenses are significant.  The court ordered my ex to contribute to extraordinary medical expenses, but what is considered extraordinary?

Extraordinary Medical Expenses

Firstly, whether a parent will be ordered to contribute to extraordinary medical expenses will be determined by each individual state.  If a parent is ordered to contribute to extraordinary expenses, it will be ordered in the child support documents. Some examples of extraordinary medical expenses are:

  • All uninsured chronic health problems
  • Asthma treatments
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthodontia
  • Psychological expenses
  • Allergy shots
  • All uncovered medical expenses

Ordinary Expenses

Some expenses will most likely be deemed ordinary by the court and not extraordinary. Some examples of ordinary medical expenses are:

  • Routine annual physical
  • Dental appointment
  • Doctor’s visit

Dollar Value of Extraordinary Expenses

Some states place a dollar figure on what may be considered extraordinary medical expenses. For example, states may:

  • Consider all expenses above $100 as extraordinary expenses
  • Consider any medical expenses that exceed 5% of the monthly child support amount as extraordinary  
  • Consider any medical expenses that are over $250 per year to be extraordinary

If medical expenses total more than the specific dollar figure as outlined in your state’s child support statute, parents should share the costs of the expenses.

For more information about extraordinary medical expenses, refer to your state’s child support laws or speak with a qualified attorney in your jurisdiction.   


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