VIC Can I make my ex pay medical expenses?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Rnq561, 5 December 2019 at 11:48 AM.

  1. Rnq561

    Rnq561 Member

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    My ex and I separated shortly after I fell pregnant a few years ago. He had very limited contact with our daughter as a baby and then told me never to contact him again so she has not seen him since, but we have reached out a number of times. He now has another family and will not reply to my messages or her calls.

    My daughter is having behavioural issues and her school has recommended seeing a psychologist. I believe the behavioural issues are due to his ongoing rejection.

    He pays $500 a month in child support. Can I make him pay for the psychologist's bill? Can my lawyer make him pay It or should I just put the bills in his name when we get a referral?

    I have a consent order for sole parental responsibility excluding child support.

    Thanks for your help
     
  2. gunners

    gunners Member

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    why not just get a referral from a GP? you get 10 free appointments under medicare anyway.

    Also maybe check with places like Anglicare. I imagine there should be plenty of assistance out there for children.

    Getting and paying a lawyer to try and get him to pay for medical expenses seems more counter productive and expensive then just arranging in the first place.
     
  3. Rnq561

    Rnq561 Member

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    Wouldn't he be liable for my legal fees if he refuses to pay? He earns approx. 3x I do.

    If I get a referral from a GP, will a mental health plan cover a child psychologist for her or would only the GP be free to talk to?

    Thanks
     
  4. gunners

    gunners Member

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    its with psychologists. I believe you will get refered to a mental health clinic who will facilitate setting it up.

    I'm no legal expert, far from it. trying to work my way through family law myself.... but why would he be responsible for court costs and medical expenses? I feel like maybe this will fall on you

    The situation sucks, but it sounds like hes been clear on his position for a long time and is following through with his responsibilities in paying child support. you have sole parential responsibility and its your issue to arrange.
     
  5. GlassHalfFull

    GlassHalfFull Well-Known Member

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    I'm no legal expert either but my understanding is that it's very rare indeed for the other party to be forced to pay your legal fees just because you're right, or you 'win' in the family court.

    A mental health care plan will cover the psychologist. It's essentially a medicare rebate for up to 10 sessions a year. It doesn't necessarily make the psychologist appointment free - it's just like a GP, some may want to charge more than the rebate, some may not.

    As for whether he would have to pay, my understanding is that as a general rule, child support is supposed to cover incidental things like psychologists and it's up to you to use that money to put towards those expenses. Only when they become single large expenses like private surgery or daycare costs that you have the ability to go back to the child support agency and ask for a reassessment based on that. I believe CSA has some kind of threshold on that, if it's under a certain value, they don't consider it enough to warrant a reassessment.

    As for whether it's morally right for him to pay for his share of the psychologist, that's another issue entirely.
     
  6. EllaJ

    EllaJ Member

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    You can apply for a change of assessment of child support to include abnormal medical expenses. I applied one-year with $3500 worth of costs and I was rejected after 4 months as they our looked at three months worth of receipts then extrapolated, that amounted to just under $2000 and they seemed that not excessive. I appealed at AAT and won and got half cost. It was stressful and took 9 months to finalise.

    I would get the mental health plan and try to find a bulk billing pychologist. Also the school should have a counselor available so reach out to the principal.
     
  7. Rnq561

    Rnq561 Member

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    He has previously had a restraining order against me. When he reapplied to have it extended another year, he was not successful and therefore had to pay the fee of my lawyer to Legal Aid.

    If I sought Legal Aid support again, I thought it might be a similar case because I am a low income earner and he is well above the legal aid threshold.
     
  8. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Your best bet is to apply through child support. But given daughter can access free mental health services - there are no expenses. So what are you trying to achieve?
     
  9. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    How old is the child?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. Rnq561

    Rnq561 Member

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    She's about to turn 7.
     
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