October 2020 | No. 122,147 (Kan. Ct. App. 2020)

In re Lask (Kansas 2020)

The terms of the order will control what is considered an uninsured medical expense. These parents were operating under the terms of a modified divorce decree which divided uninsured medical expenses proportionately between them. The father, who earned significantly more, paid the bigger share. A child incurred significant bills due to stays in treatment. The mother filed for contempt alleging that the father had failed to pay his portion of uninsured medical expenses. Numerous other motions followed. In the final order relevant to this appeal, the district court found the father liable for his portion of the medical expenses and entered a judgment. To account for the mother’s delay in requesting reimbursement, the court stayed execution and ordered that no interest would accrue as long as the father made timely payments. The father appealed, arguing the judgment was an impermissible retroactive increase of child support and that the expenses weren’t necessary medical expenses. The appellate court affirmed the decision, noting the mother had the sole discretion over medical decisions and the modified order didn’t define uninsured costs or contain any limiting language. The appellate court also found the doctrine of laches didn’t bar the mother’s request for reimbursement. The father failed to show any prejudice by the alleged delay.

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