Can I Get More Child Support If My Child Has Medical Needs?
In Florida, parents have a general duty to provide financial support to their children. The parent who lacks primary physical custody of the child will often be required to pay child support. Florida has guidelines in place to determine the amount of child support that is owed.
However, additional support may be required if a child has unique health needs. This is often referred to as “medical support.” Here, our Orlando child support attorneys explain the key things to know about getting additional child support for your kid’s medical needs in Florida.
Understanding Medical Support in Florida
Supporting a child involves providing for their medical needs to the extent that one has the financial capacity to do so. As explained by the Florida Department of Revenue, medical support is a form of child support. A parent may be required to pay medical support that is above the standard state child support guidelines when warranted by a child’s needs. Notably, medical child support fits into two broad categories:
- Health Insurance: In Florida, health insurance coverage for children is a core component of medical child support. The court generally requires that the child’s health insurance needs are met in the most cost-effective manner possible. If health insurance is available through one parent’s employer or the marketplace, that parent is typically mandated to maintain coverage. The cost of health insurance is then factored into the child support calculation, often being divided between the parents based on their respective incomes
- Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses: Beyond the cost of health insurance premiums, there are invariably out-of-pocket medical expenses for any child—and these expenses can be significantly higher for a child with specialized medical needs. Florida law requires both parents to share these additional expenses. The split of out-of-pocket medical expenses for a child is often based on income and it may be addressed within a child support order. For children with extraordinary medical needs, these costs are a very important issue.
Child Support Guidelines Can Be Deviated from in Florida
Florida has child support guidelines that are presumed to be applicable. However, the state recognizes that these guidelines do not work in every case. A child’s unique medical needs could render the standardized child support guidelines inapplicable and the court can deviate from the guidelines. The parent seeking additional support usually bears the burden of proving that a deviation is justified. An Orlando family law attorney can help you submit a
Motion to Deviate from Child Support Guidelines (12.943 Form) to seek additional financial support for a child’s unique medical needs.
Get Help From Our Orlando Child Support Lawyer Today
At Greater Orlando Family Law, Orlando child support attorneys have the professional expertise that you can trust when it matters most. If you have any questions about getting additional child support for your kid’s unique medical needs, we can help. Contact our family law firm today to arrange your confidential case evaluation. With a legal office in Winter Park, we represent parents in child support cases in Orlando. Orange County, and throughout Central Florida.