Kids not only need dental care, they frequently need orthodontic care too. None of this comes cheap, and it is even more difficult to manage when you and your spouse are divorced. When you know you will have a problem getting your ex to pay half of the kids' dental bills, you will need more than your lawyer's help; you will need your dentist's help too. Here is when your dentist should get involved in these issues, and how your dentist can help in these legal matters.
Get a Well-Itemized List of Treatment Steps and Exact Costs from Your Dentist
Ex-spouses typically have issues with trusting and believing what the other says, so you will need your dentist to write a detailed list of the procedures your children will need and their exact costs. If you have dental insurance, be sure that your dentist deducts all costs covered by your insurance too. Then you can present your ex with a copy of this itemized list and statement of expected costs so that he or she is not surprised by the bill nor can he/she deny the amounts expected for his/her portion.
Your Dentist Can Also Provide You with a Signed Statement on Letterhead
All of your children's dental and orthodontic treatments must be accompanied by a statement from your dentist and/or orthodontist that the treatments are medically necessary. Be sure to ask your dentist to put his/her professional statements regarding treatments for your children on office letterhead, so that it appears professional and can be used as a document in court. When the court is presented with the itemized treatment list, expected expenses and the letter from your dentist stating that these treatments are medically necessary, the judge may find in your favor. If you live in a state where the letter is not sufficient proof or claim to medically necessary procedures, your lawyer may have to subpoena your dentist to testify in person as to the validity and medical necessity of the recommended procedures.
Making Arrangements with Your Dentist for Court-Ordered, 50/50 Payments
Some dentists and orthodontists are understanding about these legal issues and are often willing to work with you. If you have an order that clearly states that both parents have to pay HALF of the children's dental expenses, provide your dentist with a copy. Then make arrangements to deposit your half of the expenses on your children's account every time they receive services. Doing so will show that you have paid your share, and that the billing department at your dentist's office needs to go after your ex for the rest.