Most people think child support starts once the child is born, and those monthly payments are made to support the welfare of child until they turn 18 or graduate from high school. What many do not realize is that you can actually request reimbursement of certain pregnancy and confinement expenses from the other parent. Just like any form of child support, the other parent’s paternity must be adjudicated to receive such reimbursement.

According to Minn. Stat 257.66, a parent can ask the Court to order the other parent to reimburse them for all or a portion of the reasonable expenses incurred during pregnancy, which can even include lost wages due to medical necessity. For example, certain circumstances can necessitate bed rest for an expecting mother and can take away the ability to earn income for many workers. You could then pursue reimbursement for this once paternity has been established.

Another area of potential reimbursement is genetic testing fees. As we have mentioned, in order to be eligible for a claim for reimbursement, paternity must be established. Any expenses incurred by the mother in genetically proving the fatherhood of a parent can potentially be eligible for reimbursement by the father.

When such a claim is brought to court, there are three factors considered when deciding if they should order reimbursement and for how much: relative financial means of the parents; the earning ability of each parent; and any health insurance policies held by either parent, or by a spouse or parent of the parent, which would provide benefits for the expenses incurred by the mother during her pregnancy and confinement.

Even if you have incurred such expenses, it is not guaranteed that you will be reimbursed. Your claim will still need to be argued in court, where it will be necessary to show that it is reasonable under the circumstances of your case. Also, keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations for the others parent’s liability for past support.  You can only request reimbursement of expenses and past child support for expenses incurred in the two years immediately preceding the commencement of the action.