Child health care provisions in Florida divorce settlements

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2022 | Blog, Juvenile Dependency |

Divorce settlements may include court orders that mandate making financial support payments to an ex-spouse or to provide for the children. As noted on the Florida Senate website, divorce settlements must include provisions specifying each spouse’s contribution toward reasonable expenses covering their children’s health care.

Health insurance plans must cover a child’s medical needs at both parents’ locations. Children must be able to receive treatment while living at their legal custodians’ residences and while visiting their noncustodial parents. Florida requires insurance coverage to cost no more than 5% of a parent’s gross income.

Family courts may determine reasonable costs and consider hardships

Both spouses have obligations to pay for a child’s noncovered medical costs, including dental care and prescriptions. Florida’s statutes allow courts to calculate how much each parent pays for a child’s health care costs as part of their divorce decree.

When spouses cannot afford to provide the mandated amount, the court may request information to determine a reasonable amount to contribute. In some cases, a parent may have an obligation to repay an ex-spouse for a child’s medical expenses.

Parents may report their ex-spouses for neglect

Failure to pay for or reimburse an ex-spouse for a child’s health-related expenses as ordered by the court may result in legal action. The Florida Legislature’s Online Sunshine website notes that neglecting to provide medical care may raise allegations of child abuse. If, for example, a parent fails to take a child to a hospital to receive necessary treatment, Florida officials may intervene.

In some cases, the Florida Department of Children and Families may overreact to allegations of negligence or abuse for failing to provide health care. You may, however, provide evidence to defend yourself against exaggerated claims from an ex-spouse or unduly concerned individuals.

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