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Can you require your co-parent to help pay for braces?

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2023 | child support

Braces are one of the most common orthodontic interventions. Whether “invisible” or metal, they can help realign the teeth and improve someone’s smile.

Orthodontics can be either cosmetic or medically necessary. Parents may disagree about whether a child really needs braces, as it will be a multi-thousand-dollar investment for the family. Can one Florida parent make the choice to get braces and require their co-parent to help pay?

Orthodontia and dental expenses can influence child support

Orthodontic work falls into a bit of a legal gray area for child support matters. Among the many factors that the Florida family courts may consider when establishing or reevaluating child support are the current expenses for the family.

Orthodontic interventions deemed necessary by a dentist may contribute to a child’s other care costs and how much support they require. However, orthodontic work isn’t part of the standard category used for medical and dental expenses. The necessity of the treatment will influence how the courts handle it.

Parents typically need to reach an agreement about care for their children if they share decision-making authority. However, if one parent refuses to act in the best interests of the children, the other may take action and then ask the courts for support.

In some cases, the need for braces will justify an increase in child support, and the courts may affirm the right of one parent to make that decision when the other seems to care more about their finances than the needs of the child. Learning more about the factors that often influence child custody and support matters can help those currently in a disagreement with their co-parent.