Unless your order says otherwise, the Court requires submission of unreimbursed medical expenses (all of your child’s medical expenses that are not covered by or reimbursed by your child’s insurance policy) by mail. Because certified mail is tracked, and because it is the method approved by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court prefers this method.
A failure to submit your child’s unreimbursed medical expenses via certified mail does not mean that your child’s other parent does not have to reimburse you, but it does mean that the Court may not find your child’s other parent in contempt of court for failure to reimburse due to a lack of proof that the parent ever received the request for reimbursement.
It is not uncommon for certified mail to be returned as undeliverable. Many people will not go to the post office to collect the certified mail, so if they are not home when it is delivered, there is a chance they will never actually get it. This is why we strongly advise that you send a complete copy to your child’s other parent via regular mail in addition to sending it by certified mail. If you send via regular mail and via certified mail, the Court will find that you have properly submitted your requests for reimbursement.
Procedure for Requesting Reimbursement
- You must submit your request for reimbursement on or before the 30th day after you pay the expense in question.
- Draft a cover letter to your child’s other parent. Include the date, the parent’s name and complete mailing address, and the following details of the expense:
- The date of the expense;
- The reason the expense was incurred;
- The full amount of the expense;
- The other parent’s 50% share of the expense; and
- The date that you paid the expense.
- Make 3 copies of the receipt or invoice and 3 copies of the letter. Mail one copy of the letter + receipt via certified mail return receipt requested, one copy via regular mail and keep one copy for your records. You should staple the green tag from the CMRRR label to your copy of the cover letter. When the green card is eventually returned to you, staple that to your cover letter as well.
- Keep your copy somewhere safe because you will need it to show the judge if you have an enforcement action. We advise scanning it if possible; that way, you do not have to worry about losing it. If you scan it, you should detach the CMRRR tags and attach them to a second, blank sheet of paper so they do not cover any text. If you have an active case, you can deliver your copy to your attorney for safekeeping or for preparation of an enforcement action.
Helpful Hints for Submitting Unreimbursed Medical Expenses to Your Child’s Other Parent
- Check with your attorney to see if your order authorizes any alternate methods of submission. Some orders will expressly authorize submission via email or via a website like Our Family Wizard. CMRRR can get expensive and often inconvenient, so explore if any alternatives are available. If you have not yet finalized your case, ask your attorney if an alternative way of submission is possible for your final order.
- You are not limited to regular mail and certified mail. If you have sent it certified, but you usually communicate with your child’s parent via email, do not hesitate to send a scanned copy via email or any other way that works for you. However, unless your order specifically authorizes an alternate method of submission, do not skip the certified mail.
- List the all the methods that you used to deliver the request to your child’s other parent beneath the address line on your cover letter; if you sent it via email, add the email address you sent it to; if you sent it via CMRRR, add the tracking number; if you posted it on Our Family Wizard, say so.
- Please review the attached sample of what your cover letter should look like.
Procedure for Payment of Unreimbursed Medical Expenses
If you are the parent who has received a request for reimbursement, you will need to make a full and timely payment – your payment for your 50% share of your child’s unreimbursed medical expense is due on or before the 30th day after the date the request was mailed.
- Pay your share of the expense within 30 days. It is fine if you want to speak to the child’s healthcare provider to ask questions or clarify, but DO NOT refuse to pay an expense because you do not believe it exists. If you have questions, contact your child’s care provider. Your share is due 30 days after your child’s other parent makes the request, but the request itself should be made after the bill has been paid in full.
- If the child’s care provider cannot resolve your concerns or questions, you should consult your attorney. DO NOT ignore the expense or avoid paying it without legal advice.
- Once you pay the expense, keep a receipt. If you paid via check to your child’s other parent, print out or save the canceled check. If you paid via money order, keep the receipt. The Attorney General is not usually involved in the collection and distribution of unreimbursed medical expenses, so you may not be able to rely on their office for a record.
SAMPLE LETTER – REQUEST FOR REIMBURSEMENT
|DECEMBER 31, 2012
[Other parent’s name]
Re: Unreimbursed Medical Expenses
[Other Parent’s Name]:
Please find enclosed the receipts for the following unreimbursed medical expenses for [child’s name]
1. Visit to [NAME] on [DATE]
a. Unreimbursed portion = [total cost].
2. Visit to [NAME] on [DATE]
a. Unreimbursed portion = [total cost].
The Law Office of Natalie Gregg
(972) 829 – 3923