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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My ex wife took my son to a chiropractor rather than a Podiatrist.

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My ex wife took my son to a chiropractor rather than a Podiatrist. The Podiatrist visit would have been covered by my insurance, but the chiropractor is not. Am I required to pay half of the chiropractor bill?
Hello,

I'm an "above-average" Starbucks employee. I like to wear a judge's robe while mixing Java Chip Frappacinos.Cool

Anyway, the issue is entirely controlled by your court orders, which almost certain have a provision for unreimbursed health care/medical costs. The court is required to order, under TX Family Code 152.183: "(c) As additional child support, the court shall allocate between the parties, according to their circumstances: (1) the reasonable and necessary health care expenses, including vision and dental expenses, of the child that are not reimbursed by health insurance or are not otherwise covered by the amount of cash medical support ordered under Section 154.182(b)(3); and (2) amounts paid by either party as deductibles or copayments in obtaining health care services for the child covered under a health insurance policy."

Assuming that the court has issued the required orders (which sometimes does not happen, so read your orders carefully), then you are liable for a portion of the "reasonable and necessary health care expenses...not reimbursed by health insurance."

So, the issue boils down to whether or not the chiropractor's care was reasonable and necessary "health care." This is highly arguable -- because there is no Texas appellate case law interpreting the question definitively.

In TBCE v. TEXAS MEDICAL ASS'N, 375 S.W.3d 464 (2012), the court of appeals throughly dissected the difference between chiropractic and medical practice. And, while the court held that chiropractic is a specific type of care, which permits diagnosis and treatment of "subluxations," the court also held that chiropractic practice is in no way the practice of medicine.

So, the question, now, is whether or not "health care," for child support purposes, includes chiropractic care. I would argue that it does not, and moreover that despite the government licensure of chiropractic practitioners, the entire study of chiropractic is entirely outside of the scope of methodical naturalism (i.e., "unscientific").

Assuming that the court agrees with your argument (something that I cannot predict), you are not liable for chiropractic care for your child, because it is not only not reasonable or necessary -- it's not health care at all.

Note: My apologies to any chiropractors who may read this. I am making a legal argument, not a condemnation of a well-established industry. There may be many people who find chiropractic care to be extremely useful. But, there are also many people who find that stock market technical analysis is extremely useful -- despite there being no scientific evidence that demonstrates technical analysis works any better than throwing darts at a page of the Wall St. Journal.

Please let me know if my answer is helpful. Thanks in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I'm no attorney or fan of Lattes, but doesn't this opening statement In TBCE v. TEXAS MEDICAL ASS'N, 375 S.W.3d 464 (2012)invalidate the ruling?

BOB PEMBERTON, Justice.
We withdraw our opinion and judgment dated April 5, 2012, and substitute the following in its place. The motion for rehearing filed by appellee Texas Medical Association is denied.
http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?page=1&xmldoc=In%20TXCO%2020120706452.xml&docbase=CSLWAR3-2007-CURR&SizeDisp=7
Nope. The opening statement substitutes the published July 6, 2012 ruling for a ruling which was previously issued on April 5 2012. In other words, the ruling that you are reading is the correct ruling, and any prior ruling that you may stumble upon should be ignored.

Note: I subscribe to a proprietary research service: Westlaw (www.westlaw.com). It is one of the two largest legal research services available. The system automatically flags cases that are published, precedent, unpublished, reversed, invalidated, etc. So, while you have no means of knowing this, since I didn't tell you, the TBCE case that I cited (and which you found at the www.leagle.com website, is precedent (binding) law for Texas courts at this time.

Does this help?
socrateaser and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, it help immensely. Unfortunately (no offense) my ex-wife of 4 years went to work for her divorce attorney a few weeks after we signed papers. She's extremely contentious and has a habit of engaging in threats and intimidation with legal jargon. I love and live for my kids. I pay for private school and a hefty sum of child support without complaints, but the constant beat down I get from her is unprecedented due her position as a legal aid. The only ones' losing are the kids which bums me out more than anything. We have joint custody, but I'd give my right arm to be the custodial parent. I'll stop bugging you now.

Thanks for your help,

Jeff
How about a margarita, instead of coffee?

The good news is that eventually, child support ends. Then, the kid comes over and asks you to cosign for a car loan.

Best wishes.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Martini...shaken, not stirred.

Just bought my daughter a car and my son is not far behind, yikes!

Thanks again