April 18, 2012

Bresky Law Obtains Reversal of Child Support Order to Award Mother Her Child’s Uncovered Medical Expenses

Judkins v. Dep’t of Revenue and Jose Briceno
Case No. 4D10-4579

We represented a mother in her appeal from the Department of Revenue’s child support order. The mother had sought an order requiring the father of her child to pay child support. Specifically, the mother’s application for child support enforcement sought financial contribution from the father for the child’s uncovered medical expenses. At the hearing, the mother introduced evidence that she paid over $10,000 in expenses due to the child’s severe asthma. The Department of Revenue order only awarded the mother $2,800 for this expense. Additionally, the hearing officer’s orally pronounced ruling stated that the mother was entitled to $26,368.00 in retroactive child support, but the written order erroneously stated that the mother was only entitled to $23,368.00.

On appeal, we argued that the Department had erred in failing to properly consider the child’s uncovered medical expenses and include those expenses in the child support calculation or order Briceno to pay them in accordance with his percentage of child support. We also argued that the written order should be amended to conform to the hearing officer’s oral pronouncement that awarded the mother $26,368.00 instead of $23,368.00. The Fourth District Court of Appeal agreed. The court reversed and remanded the award regarding medical expenses pursuant to section 61.30(8) Florida Statutes (2010), to provide for future uncovered expenses. The court also remanded for the lower tribunal to conform the final order to its oral pronouncement.

**[Note: At the time of this posting, the Fourth DCA mandate has not issued. The decision will not be final until disposition of a timely filed motion for rehearing.] **