My ex-wife has told me I owe half for braces for our child. She never discussed this with me and our divorce papers state any expenses not covered by “medical” are to be split 50/50.
My question is, are braces cosmetic or medical?
This answer only includes general divorce information for men as I am only licensed to practice in Oklahoma and cannot provide advice on child support laws in your state.
Generally, orthodontic costs are included in the “reasonable” out-of-pocket medical expenses that are to be divided by the parents. While it might not be medically necessary, the court is likely to find that braces are a reasonable expense and you should share the cost.
If you and your ex-wife share joint legal custody (that is joint decision-making rights for your child) in your divorce decree, then she should have discussed the child’s orthodontic care with you prior to making the decision.
However, if you fought it in court, the court would likely find that you need to pay for it anyway, even if your ex did not confer with you.
You should consult with an attorney in your area with experience in both family law and probate.