Understanding child support and health insurance in Florida

In Florida, children must be properly cared for regardless of the circumstances, especially when the parents are divorcing. That includes ensuring that they have the health insurance they so desperately need to provide medical care. When a couple gets a divorce and child support is ordered, there will be a provision in the agreement that the supporting parent provide health insurance for minor children. There are important points about this aspect of the law and parents should have a firm understanding of it as the divorce process moves forward.

Details of health insurance in a support order

The health insurance must be financially reasonable for the parents and accessible to the child. The cost and whether it is reasonable or not will be assessed based on its incremental cost to add the child and that its cost does not go beyond 5% of the gross income of the supporting parent. Accessibility refers to it being available in the area where the child primarily resides. It can be in another location if there is a time-sharing agreement and the parties agree.

The paying parent must either provide the health coverage or pay the custodial parent for the costs if that parent is paying it. The reasonable cost assessment will be based on the child support guidelines. However, there can be a deviation from the guidelines in the following circumstances: if there are extraordinary expenses; if the child earns income on his or her own; if there are differences in income based on seasonal considerations; the child’s age; if there are special needs; the assets of the parents and child; and other considerations. If there is care needed and it is not covered by insurance, the court can order that the supporting parent pay for it based on percentages and shared costs for the parents.

Child support issues may require legal help

Medical coverage is a vital aspect of a child being adequately cared for and it must be addressed as part of a child support agreement. There are many other issues that may arise when a couple is ending a marriage. To make sure the child’s needs are addressed and the parents are treated fairly with the settlement, it is wise to consult with experienced legal professionals from the start.

 

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