June 29, 2011 11:04 AM Subscribe
Who should pay for my stepdaughter's glasses?
posted by dlugoczaj to law & government (51 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My husband, C, and his ex-wife, B, have been divorced for about 8 years. They have joint legal and physical custody of their two daughters, ages 13 and 11. Time is shared fairly equally (a little more with us, although she is considered the residential parent). Neither party pays child support to the other because we proved in court years ago that we pay at least an equal share of the girls' expenses.
Per the original court order, the kids' medical expenses are to be split 60/40 (the 60 is my husband's). They are covered by state insurance through B, and the only thing we've ever had to pay anything for (aside from occasional prescription or doctor visit copays, which have just been picked up by whoever's with the kids at the time and have never been an issue) is my older stepdaughter's braces.
Last weekend, during B's legal time with the girls, she took them to the beach. My older stepdaughter wore her eyeglasses into the ocean and lost them in the waves.
We got an email from B the next day telling us what had happened. She asked C to make an appointment with the optician, which we'd expected and were fine with, since B is currently working during the day but C has days off during the summer and looks after the girls every weekday. She ended the email by saying, "I will pay half the cost."
We don't think we should have to pay at all, since it happened on B's watch and she was responsible. If this had happened during our family's annual beach vacation, for instance, neither C nor I would have thought of asking B to pay because she wasn't there and had nothing to do with it. We already checked into the girls' insurance coverage and unfortunately we can't get any help through them because they'll only the cost of glasses every two years, and these were only about a year old and perfectly functional.
We are going forward and making the appointment because our girl really needs the glasses to function and we can't penalize her for it, but B is resisting the idea that this is a personal-responsibility thing that should fall outside of the range of ordinary medical expenses. We'll end up footing it if we have to but will be pretty pissed. Are we SOL without going to court?