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Coparenting and the Sick Kid

Updated: Feb 8, 2019



So you are going about your day and then you get that dreaded call. Your child is sick and needs to be picked up from school/camp/daycare. What do you do? If you are coparenting and you get this call, you have some additional aspects to consider.


· Do you or your ex have the more flexible schedule?

· Who has custody of the child that day?

· If neither of you are available, what is your backup plan? And, who pays for it?


In my situation, 99% of the time I am picking up my son. My ex and I both have relatively flexible work schedules, but I always want to be the caregiver of our son when he isn’t feeling well. Maybe it isn’t exactly fair, but if I get that call, I am doing everything in my power to get there. The problem is, if it is my ex’s night with our son it makes it more difficult on our son leaving my house. I don’t blame him. If you aren’t feeling well the last thing you want to do is get in a car for thirty minutes. In this instance, I will give up or trade a day when I have custody to make sure his father gets his allotted time.


There have been times when we were both unable to leave work and had to call in back-up. Grandparents are key, but they aren’t always around. I picked my son up, brought him to my home, and had a babysitter come to watch him until I could get done with work. Here’s the tricky part… who pays for the babysitter? Do you split it? Is it the financial responsibility of the parent who has custody that day? This scenario is something that you probably want to hammer out before adding the stress of a sick child into the mix. Just put a plan in place for when this happens because it will. Kids get sick.


Expenses

Some divorce decrees are very specific about who pays for medical expenses and some leave a lot of room for interpretation. My decree is pretty specific in that we are supposed to split all copays and prescriptions evenly. We didn’t really have a method for doing this until Let’s Coparent came along. We would try to alternate, but I am pretty sure I ended up paying the majority of the time. If you are using Let’s Coparent you can easily request payment from your coparent to help cover the medical costs. If you aren’t using the app, then you need to make sure you have it clearly spelled out as to how medical expenses will be divided up and how reimbursement will be made. I have a friend who pays for the copay and prescriptions if his ex is the one who takes their child to the doctor. He says it makes it fair because of the time spent at the doctor’s office and then at the pharmacy. The reverse is also true and this is a great example of coparenting.


Prescriptions

I have been divorced for several years and only last week did I finally ask a pharmacist about splitting medicine so we wouldn’t have to transfer it back and forth. How had I never asked about this before? The sweet pharmacist at CVS split the amoxicillin (yet another ear infection!) between two bottles and put another label on the new bottle for me, free of charge. She then asked me if there were any other prescriptions we currently had that I would need bottles and labels for. I was blown away. She told me that when the physician writes the prescription that they should indicate that it will be split into two bottles. Apparently this is pretty standard.

I then asked her about inhalers, ear drops, and other medicines that are pre-made. She told me that most insurance companies allow two medicines to be prescribed at a time and if they don’t you can call your insurance company to ask for an exception. Genius. We have been passing medications back and forth in our son’s backpack (unbeknownst to his school) for years. The worst was forgetting to put it in the backpack and having to drive to a meeting place to hand off the meds when your kiddo should have already been in bed. But, no more. Thank you, Charlie from CVS!


So, make a plan for when your child will inevitably get sick. The plan helps alleviate the stress of the situation and will help you coparent harmoniously. And take your Vitamin C.


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