Monday, May 29, 2006

Deadbeat Dads and the Dictionaries that Punish Them

K.T.P. v. Atchison, 2006 WL 1410142 (Ind. App. May 24, 2006) (case about whether a father owed money for expenses, reasonable and necessary, of the mother’s pregnancy and childbirth.)

Indiana Code § 31-14-17-1 states the following: "The court shall order the father to pay at least fifty percent (50%) of the reasonable and necessary expenses of the mother's pregnancy and childbirth, including the cost of: (1) prenatal care; (2) delivery; (3) hospitalization; and (4) postnatal care." As K.T.P.'s disputed medical expenses arose four weeks following his reportedly "normal" birth, the State's position requires that we include them as "postnatal care" under Indiana Code § 31-14-17-1. As stated earlier, "postnatal" is defined as "occurring or being after birth; specif: of or relating to an infant immediately after birth." MERRIAM-WEBSTER'S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY, supra. Under the plain language of the statute, "postnatal care," which refers to the care of an infant immediately following birth, would not apply to the subsequent care of a child who is re-hospitalized thirty-four days following a normal delivery.

.
-
FN7. "Parturition" is defined as "the action or process of giving birth to offspring." MERRIAM-WEBSTER'S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY 904 (11th ed.2004).
.

- FN9. "Postpartum" is defined as "occurring in or being the period following parturition." "Postnatal" is defined as "occurring or being after birth; specif: of or relating to an infant immediately after birth." MERRIAM-WEBSTER'S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY 970 (11th ed.2004).