In general, parents should be able to address their children’s needs even after the dissolution of their marriage. For this reason, it is crucial that you and your partner discuss matters like who makes medical decisions if your children were to fall ill.
If parents cannot agree on this matter, the court often takes it upon themselves to decide based on the child’s best interests. This decision usually entails identifying which parent gets physical or legal custody of their children.
The parent awarded physical custody is generally the one with whom children spend most of their time. On the other hand, legal custody gives a parent the right to make crucial decisions about their children, such as deciding health-related matters.
One parent can have both physical and legal custody of their children. There are also joint custody cases in which parents share either or both physical and legal custody. In joint custody, one parent usually cannot make health care decisions without the other parent’s consent.
What if parents disagree?
Sometimes, parents might disagree about life-saving procedures, specific treatments and vaccines. A parent might ask the court to intervene and override the legal custodian’s decision. To do this, the court usually examines the importance of the treatment in question and asks for the opinion of medical professionals.
Child custody can become a contentious issue during and after divorce, especially if the parents have conflicting beliefs about what is best for their children. An experienced attorney can help parents fight for their rights and ensure their children’s needs are upheld, especially in critical matters like health care.