Allocation of Expenses in Support Proceedings
By Dawn Padanyi, Esq.
When a support action is filed with the Court, whether it is for child support, spousal support or alimony pendent lite (APL), the Court also has the ability to allocate additional expenses between the parties.
Pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure, 1910.16-6, the Courts can allocate child care expenses, health insurance premiums, unreimbursed medical expenses, private school tuition, summer camp, and mortgages.
- Health Insurance Premiums. If a parent has health insurance available at a cost to him/her, that parent’s premiums paid to provide health insurance to the shared children and/or spouse is allocated between the parents proportionate to their net incomes available for support. For example: If Father provides health insurance for the child at a cost of $100 per month, then the parents are both responsible to pay that premium relative to his/her income. If the parties combined net income is $1000 with Mother bringing in $600 relative to Father’s $400 then the proportionate share of the health insurance premium would be 60% from Mother or $60.00 and 40% from Father or $40.00 per month. Employer paid premiums are not shared.
- Child Care Expenses. Necessary child care expenses for purposes of employment or education, are shared between the parents proportionate to his/her net incomes available for support. This amount is then calculated into the basic support owed by the parents (less any subsidies for child care that the parent may receive).
- Mortgage Payment.In calculating support, the Court assumes that the spouse living in the marital home is 100 percent responsible for the costs associated therewith (i.e. mortgage payments, taxes, homeowner’s insurance, homeowner’s association fees). That being said, if the individual residing in the marital residence has mortgage payments that are beyond 25% of his/her net income (including support received), then the Court can order the payor to pay up to 50% of the excess mortgage as included in the support order. Similarly, if the spouse who is paying support, resides in the marital home and the carry costs are greater than 25% of his/her monthly net income available for support (including support paid) then the Court can reduce the support obligation. This section only applies when the parties are married and does not apply after there has been a final resolution of the economic claims in the divorce.
- Private School Tuition. Summer Camp. Other Needs. The Court does not automatically add expenditures for items such as private school tuition, camp, extracurriculars, however, if the Court determines the expenditures are necessary and/or reasonable, the Court can order that the parties share the expenses proportionate to his/her net incomes available for support.
- Unreimbursed Medical Expenses. Umreimbursed medical expenses of the individual receiving support and that for the children is allocated between the parents relative to his/her net incomes. The person receiving support is responsible for the first $250 of unreimbursed medical expenses then after the $250 mark is reached, the parties proportionally share this. (Note, this is $250 per person owed a duty of support.) If the parties incur unreimbursed medical expenses that are $500 above $250, then the parents proportionally share this based on 60% for Mother and 40% for Father using the same incomes in #2 above. Unreimbursed medical expenses include co-pays, premiums, medications, necessary medical supplies, etcetera, but does not include cosmetic, chiropractic, psychiatric, or psychological expenses.