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Can I be ordered to pay health insurance in child support orders?

There are numerous financial decisions to make regarding children during and post-divorce. When it comes to health insurance, the court has considerable leeway in requiring health insurance in conjunction with child support payments. Generally speaking any order for a child support issued by the court will typically include a provision that requires the parent to obtain adequate health insurance for the child as long as its cost is deemed reasonable and it's accessible to the child. This will be in addition to any child support payments that the court orders.

A court will deem health insurance cost reasonable if the added expenditure on health insurance does not exceed 5 percent of the income of the parent that is responsible for furnishing the child with health insurance. The court will regard health insurance that can be accessed in the county that the child primarily resides as accessible. Health insurance can also fulfil the accessible criterion if it's accessible in another county other than the county of the child's primary residence if the parent that has been granted the majority time under the child's time sharing plan also agrees.

In the off chance that timesharing is split equitably between both parents, health insurance will be deemed accessible in any county as long as both parents agree. The court can compel a parent who is responsible for providing health insurance to the child to reimburse the other parent in the event that the other parent provides health insurance to meet a child's medical needs. In the event that the court deviates from what qualifies as reasonable in cost, it must provide a written explanation that explains the reason for its determination.

It is important to understanding that dental care, medication expenses and other noncovered medical expenses may not be included in health insurance. Courts may determine each parent's share of noncovered medical expenses as a percentage share.

Source: The Florida Legislatures, "ยง61.13 - Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; powers of court," Accessed Feb. 16, 2015

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