Estimating Medical Expenses During a Divorce

Guidelines for estimating medical expenses when developing a divorce budget

During the divorce process, developing a budget is a critical component of valuing the marital estate (what a couple owns minus what a couple owes = the marital estate) and dissolving the marriage. Both parties and their divorce lawyers should create one (or more) budgets. You and your family law attorney should consider the following when budgeting for medical expenses:

Health insurance, hospitals, doctors, dentists, opticians, and prescriptions are some of the costs that are normally considered under medical. As might be expected, predicting the future health of family members is virtually impossible. For example, there is no predicting when little Jimmy will assume that attempting to jump a ravine with his bike is a good idea. However, there are some basic things that can be done to ease the process.

The current budget will include the costs being expended for health insurance. Future costs will include health insurance, for example, for single coverage for the parent without the children and family coverage for the parent with the children. If the family has regularly met its insurance deductible, then this amount should be included in the budgeted figures of the parent who will be responsible for paying the deductible. If a family member is receiving regular medical care for any type of condition, historical data can be averaged and used for budgeting purposes. For example, if a family member is on a regular drug regimen, then the associated costs should appear in the budget.

Another example would be contact lenses or eyeglasses. Children who wear glasses need them replaced because of prescription changes associated with maturing or because they are broken. Planning for the necessity of replacement glasses will help to ensure that the eyewear can be replaced when necessary.