Are Braces Extraordinary Medical Expenses?


My child support agreement says I am to pay for extraordinary medical expenses not fully covered by my insurance.

I am to pay 76% and my daughter’s mother is to pay 24%. She recently decided to get my seven-year-old daughter braces for her teeth.  The child’s dentist says that our child doesn’t really need the braces, but that it could go either way. I said no about the procedure. She got it done anyway now she wants me to pay and is denying me visitation because I am not paying.

Am I responsible for this even though I told her not to get it done?



You need to consult an attorney in your jurisdiction as child support guidelines vary from state to state.

Additionally, payment for the braces may depend on your status a joint legal custodian.  However, assuming you and your daughter’s mother are joint legal custodians and you have an equal right to make medical decisions regarding your daughter’s health, you may be able to force your daughter’s mother to pay 100% of the expenses relating to braces.

Additionally, your mother’s daughter cannot deny you visitation based on your refusal to pay the expense associated with the braces.

Tiffany A. McFarland is a Senior Attorney and Litigation Manager with Cordell & Cordell, P.C. in the Overland Park, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri offices. Ms. McFarland practices exclusively in the area of domestic relations.

Tiffany is licensed in the state of Missouri and the state of Kansas and is certified as a Guardian ad Litem.

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One comment on “Are Braces Extraordinary Medical Expenses?

    You need to consult an attorney in your jurisdiction
    Many folks who ask you questions probably either can not afford an attorney or can’t justify the cost when when attorneys are chargine $300-$500 per hour of consult time! Your canned response of “You need to consult an attorney in your jurisdiction” goes without saying in most cases and doesn’t help! I’m sure everyone appreciates the fact that an attorney would volunteer their time to “help a brother out”, but if you really want to help, find a way to provide guidance that we can use. My 2 cents…

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