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What is the Florida Law for reimbursement of child's uncovered health-care costs?

Miami, FL |

My ex wife and I do not have a good relationship when it comes to dealing with important stuff related to our kids. I have tried my best but she's not willing to have a peaceful communication/relationship for the betterment of our daughters (one 17 another 13). The other day we had a verbal argument and she mentioned that she has around $7,000 of uncovered medical expenses from previous years that she can obligate me to pay. The modification filed in 2009 states that I am responsible for 40% and she is for 60% of all uncovered expenses. Is there any law in Florida that requires the custodial parent to provide any medical bill within 30 days or so? Can she legally stockpile bills and then submit them to court?

The "Reset on supplemental petition for modification and reset on counter petition" filed in 2009 only has a line that says "The Obligor is responsible for 40% of all uncovered medical, dental and orthodontic expenses for the minor child, and the Obligee is responsible for 60%" Is there any legal modifications I can file to set a reasonably time for her to submit the bills (perhaps the 30 days) or will that open the pandora box and she can request by court for me to pay that amount now?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. You need to review your settlement agreement and see if it contains a provision for submission of medical bills within a certain time frame. There is no Florida law that requires a party to submit the medical bills within a certain number of days. If you are responsible for 40% of the medical bills, then you will probably end up having to pay your portion of the bills.

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  2. Usually there is a provision within the settlement agreement or final order that states that the party incurring the fee is to submit the bill to the other party within so many days [commonly 30 days] for reimbursement of the percentage owed [in your case, 40%].

    Either way, it is very likely you may have to pay your 40% portion of the medical expenses especially if she files a motion for contempt but an attorney would have to review your case.

    You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-354-5223. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

  3. Sure you can file a motion to request that they provided in a timely fashion. Sounds like a good idea.
    You might even be able to amend the last judgment for that purpose.

    Bill Rosenfelt 407-462-8787 (Orlando/Longwood/Central Florida)

    Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.

  4. You might have a defense called latches that would bar her from collecting the bills incurred many years ago because she waited too long. You really need to speak to an attorney. Going to court on this issue could cost you especially if found in contempt. You might be responsible for her attorney's fees as well. Call myself or a colleague to help you out. We deal with this every day.

    You can reach the Law Office of Richard S. Chizever, P.A. at (305) 974-1580 or Richard S. Chizever, Esq. is a family law attorney licensed in the state of Florida. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Richard S. Chizever or the Law Office of Richard S. Chizever, P.A. and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.

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