Child Support And Medical Expenses
In Florida, all parents have the legal obligation to financially support their children. Doing so, however, can become a bit more complicated when the parents in question are separated or divorced. In these cases, the parties will need to clearly delineate who is responsible for what expenses and in most situations, the non-custodial parent will need to pay child support. Who must pay a child’s medical expenses, or whether those costs are covered by child support can be a bit complicated, so we’ve included some basic information on the issue below.
All Florida child support orders address who will be required to pay for a child’s health insurance. As we all know, however, paying for health insurance isn’t usually the end of medical expenses, as there are often costs that simply aren’t covered by these policies, either because a deductible hasn’t yet been met, the services are considered “out of network”, or the policy only covers a certain amount. This can leave many parents wondering who is responsible for their child’s uninsured medical costs.
Uninsured Medical Expenses
If a child has medical, dental, or prescription medication expenses that aren’t covered by his or her parent’s health insurance policy, then the court will generally allocate responsibility for those expenses between both parents. The custodial parent who receives child support and has been charged a medical expense for the child’s care should submit a request for payment in writing to the other parent as soon as possible, providing details, such as:
- The date of the request;
- The name of the child for whom the services were provided;
- The date that services were provided;
- The cost of those services;
- The name of the other parent;
- The name of the doctor and facility that provided the service;
- The other parent’s share of the expenses; and
- The date by which payment is requested.
The other parent must generally be given at least 30 days from the date of receipt of the written request to pay his or her share of the medical expenses. If the parent fails to make the payment, then the custodial parent can ask a judge to order the parent paying child support to pay that share of the non-covered medical care directly to the custodial parent.
If a court orders two parents to split non-covered medical expenses, then each person’s share will generally be equal to his or her percentage share of their combined net incomes. If, for instance, a custodial parent filed a request for medical support and her share of their combined net income was one-third, then the non-custodial parent could be ordered to pay two-thirds of the non-covered medical bill. It is important for the parent who initially paid for a child’s medical care to keep good records not only of the services provided, but also of their cost.
Experienced Clearwater Child Support Modification Attorneys
If you have more questions about who is responsible for your child’s non-covered medical expenses, please call the dedicated Clearwater child support modification lawyers at Cairns Law for help.