Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Attorney
Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.
Florida divorce cases involving children, child support cases and paternity cases often provide for support of the children based on Florida Child Support Guidelines in Florida Statute 61.30. However, the guidelines do not address medical expenses regarding the children, except for health insurance coverage purposes. So, how does Florida divide the parental financial responsibility for uncovered medical expenses for the children?
Often, agreements reached by the parties will include language that the parties are required to equally split the uncovered medical bills. These issues recently came up in the Florida 2nd District Court of Appeals, which ruled that uncovered medical expenses should be divided in relation to each parents percentage of income, as in the child support guidelines. Zinovoy v. Zinovy, 36 FLW D34 (Fla. 2nd DCA, December 29, 2010).
So, what does this mean? Florida child support is based on the overall income of the parents. Basically, if each parent makes $5,000 per month, then the overall monthly household income is $10,000 and each parent is 50% responsibility for that amount. So, their children’s uncovered medical expenses would be divided 50/50. If one parent makes $4,000 per month and the other makes $6,000 per month, then the uncovered medical expenses would be divided 40/60. This helps maintain a fair balance based on the incomes of the parents.