Are Braces Considered a Necessary Medical Expense?

Question:mens divorce attorney

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.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with Tulsa Divorce Lawyer Katherine V. Lewis, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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4 comments on “Are Braces Considered a Necessary Medical Expense?

    what a crappy father for not wanting to help your child feel more comfortable with their smile. sounds just like my dad and now we havent spoken in 6 years. you should do ANYTHING for your child regardless what is is. your divorce shouldnt be in the way of you caring for your child. PERIOD dont be a crappy dad please and thanks

    i’m not sure how he’s any more crappy then the mother. for not being willing to discuss the financial part of this before she made that decision! Taking another person into consideration will get you a lot farther than making that decision on your own! then putting your hand out wanting money!!

    So if that makes somone a crappy father, is it fair to say any mother who denies equal parenting to an able, willing and fit father for financial gain is worse than a crappy parent? What if the father pays a rediculous ammount of child support that covers way more than the cost of raising a child. Hopefully you dont have a son who gets drug through the family court system, trust me you will want to puke. Sometimes so much is taken that there is no money to give whether they want to or not. Please keep an open mind and dont jump to coclusions that somone is a shitty dad for not always wanting to pony up at the drop of a dime. Sorry your dad was shitty, do you know for a fact he was shitty or did your mother and the court system break a decent man down to the point of hopelessness. Be cautious with your words, there is always much more than meets the eye.

    Pay for my child school clothes etc
    When my child took me in for child support, I told them how iam I suppose to buy my child stuff, stated that’s what child support is for, anything else is a gift. Do I still have to by school clothes .

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