Is Counseling Considered Medical????

Updated on January 20, 2016
A.M. asks from Mesa, AZ
12 answers

I have been divorced for quite some time now and have been taking our children to counseling. My ex-husbannd will not pay his 80% of our childrens counseling bills because he says-

"The paperwork the counselor sent indicates she has a BA in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Counseling. Nowhere does it state that she is a doctor and rightly so since this is NOT a "medical" need As per our divorce decree, I am responsible for 80% of medical, vision and dental costs for our children. Since counseling does not fall into any of these categories I will not be paying this bill ."

Counseling is part of our childrens insurance and I am just wondering legally if he should be paying his percent. Thank you.

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So What Happened?

Well... after he and his new wife thought it over, they decided to pay it. UGH!!! Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knows of a good Paralegal in the Gilbert-Mesa area as I would like to ammend our divorce paperwork regarding our children.

More Answers



answers from Portland on

Counseling does fall into mental health services, and does count as your child's medical expense. Sounds like it is time to call your child support case worker and get that in writing for your ex.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I would say that since counseling falls under the umbrella of their medical insurance, then it falls under the umbrella of his 80%. Cough it up ex-hubby!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

As Betty said it is mental HEALTH, it is a medical need of the emotional parts of the brain.... what a jerk that guy is (no offense) but what kind of father won't pay to have their own children be healthy mentally? You can't get by in this world if you are mentally healthy for the most part. Sounds like your going to have to fight him.

I googled it and it came up (it won't let me copy and paste) that you can deduct mental-health related counseling on your taxes so if the IRS is cool with it then he better pay up because the government seems to agree it is a medical expense.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Ah, I have had that same problem. My Ex at first refused to pay his half of the out of pocket expense for my son's therapy because "he doesn't need it". They can be such jerks - then they wonder why their kids are in therapy.

Anyhoo, after I re-read our child support agreement and called my attorney, it was decided that even though this was therapy, since it is covered under the health insurance that it was a legitimate expense and he has to pay half of the out of pocket expense in accordance with the court order.

My support agreement upheld the out of pocket expense for therapy. I had the therapist bill the Ex directly for his half. In many cases, doctors, dentists, - I actually list my Ex as the responsible party so he gets the bills for his half automatically. Okay, plus it annoys him - I am not perfect.

Re-read you paperwork, call your attorney, have the attorney write him a letter (and bill him for 1/2 the attorney's fees). Don't bother to try and argue reason with him - you will just frustrate yourself. This is what we pay attorneys for - to take the hassle out of dealing with our Exes. Or, find a psychiatrist to treat you children - they have a Doctor's certificate and charge about a gazillion times more.

Good Luck and God Bless

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

If it's included on your son's health insurance coverage, then it's considered medical by the insurance company. If it's i your divorce decree that he pays 80% of medical expenses, I would talk to a lawyer about enforcing it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Sue him in civil court.



answers from New York on

Counseling is considered "mental health". If it's covered under the children's medical insurance, than it's a medical expense.



answers from Los Angeles on

F legally, how abour morally...Ask him if it is detailed that he must love, support and encourage his children...or does he not do that because he's not legally bound??? End sarcasm...Perhaps a kind response would work best and if he's a jerk about it, go back to court. Could going 50/50 on something like this work for you? I would see it as a medical expense anyway, were they referred by their doctor??? Perhaps that can be your loop hole to his reasoning.



answers from Tucson on

It is definitely part of the Health Insurance and therefore a health cost. Talk to your lawyer and get it enforced. If he doesn't pay, then it is a trip to the court for them to enforce it and make it a clear part of the order for his mind to wrap around. I have a friend of mine that even got her therapist approved as the only therapist the kids could see and all.

D. P.



answers from San Francisco on

Well if health insurance pays for counseling it is medical. Medical is about health and counseling is considered "mental health". So it truly is a medical bill for "mental health", no different than your child's wellness check up.



answers from Washington DC on

I have never seen so many scorned women in my life. Without knowing the full situation, everyone is so quick to pass judgement on men. For all we know the father could be paying $2000.00 a month in child support for one child. This is more than enough to cover any medical expense. Or maybe the mother decided not to consult with the father regarding the counseling. Father had no idea that his children were attending counseling session until he got a bill (that is what happened to me). Or how the mother refuses to comply with the court visitation order by constantly denying visits or not showing up at exchange locations? Either way all you women think the same, it's always the mans fault and you wonder.........



answers from Flagstaff on

Good question. Did you ex agree to the kids going to counseling after the divorce? If he supports them going then he should be paying without any concern. If he doesn't support them going, you may be looking into a fight that may end up back into Court.
I would guess that since your insurance company looks at it as a medical expense, so would the Court. The Court does not like to be bothered with little quarrels, so I would call a local attorney and ask them over the phone. Most attorneys are willing to answer these small questions without having to be a client or pay any fees.
Good luck.

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