Torree J. Breen, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law


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What is the “ordinary medical expense” calculated into Child Support in Michigan?

Trying to figure out child support calculations issued by the Friend of the Court is a puzzle. Even trained professionals have a difficult time understanding child support calculations and sometimes make mistakes calculating child support.

Part of the child support calculation includes an annual average that reflects the average amount of out-of-pocket expenses a parent may incur to reimburse those expenses for the child/children for out-of-pocket medical expenses on an annual basis.  This amount is calculated every year by the State of Michigan based on predetermined  statistics like the cost of living increase. The ordinary medical expenses are projected for uninsured medical expenses like co-pays and deductibles for each child. Ordinary medical expenses do not include care provided by parents, like first aid supplies and over-the-counter medications.

As of 2018, the ordinary medical expense is $403 per year per child.  This means that if the medical expenses are beyond $403 for out-of-pocket per child, the other parent would owe a certain percentage (as calculated by the Friend of the Court) for the first dollar past $403 per year.

Typically, the parent with primary custody will be awarded the ordinary medical expense in the calculation of child support. It is up to the payee to provide proof of both the ordinary medical expense/[s] and proof that he/she asked the other parent to pay their share of the additional costs beyond the first $403 per year incurred. The payee should send the payer a request for payment within 28 days after the insurer’s final payment or denial of coverage. If the payer does not pay their share of the uninsured portion within 28 days after the payee’s request, the payee can ask the Friend of the Court to enforce the payment. The payer of the expense should not delay.

The accounting of the ordinary medical expenses per year is important.  The party seeking the expenses must keep accurate records to prove the expenses like receipts, bills from providers, etc.  If the expenses are not submitted to the other parent in writing and in a timely fashion, the Friend of the Court will not enforce the other parent’s obligation to reimburse the ordinary medical expense beyond the $403 amount per month.

To prove your case, you must keep good records, a paper trail, and show timely submissions to your ex to prove that you are entitled to reimbursement for the ordinary medical expense.  Without those proofs, you will not be able to prove your entitlement to reimbursement.