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What Do We Do When We Can’t Agree On Medical Decisions?

It’s that time of the year where it seems like everyone comes down with a cold that your child brought home from school. But when flu season hits, or your children come down with something much worse, your legal custody situation may complicate how your child receives medical treatment.

Legal Custody of Your Child

When making medical decisions, your legal custody agreement will ultimately determine which parent can make decisions for your child.

Sole Legal Custody

If sole legal custody is included in your child’s custody agreement, then the parent with sole legal custody will be the only person able to decide medical treatments or other major decisions for your child. Even if the parent without legal custody believes they should be involved in the decision-making, the parent with legal custody has the final — and really only — say.

Joint Legal Custody

If you share legal custody with your ex, then you should make an effort to make major decisions about your child together. When both parents are on the same page, it can make the decision-making process much easier and show your child that, as parents, you are working together to help them feel better.

But sometimes, joint legal custody isn’t that easy. You may not be able to agree with your ex about medical decisions, which can be frustrating. Just know that even if you share legal custody of your child with your ex, you do have the ability to make major decisions about your child on your own. On the other hand, your ex also does have that right as well, which can cause further conflict in your parental relationship.

What Is A Major Medical Decision?

A major medical decision is truly any medical decision that needs to be made for your child because as a parent, anything small can truly be major! Since your child is not of the age of medical consent, you may need to make decisions for them about their medical lives.

Common medical decisions include:

  • The selection of doctors,
  • Medical testing such as X-rays, MRIs, CAT Scans, and bloodwork,
  • Vaccination,
  • Treatment of illness,
  • Surgeries and procedures, and
  • The acceptance of medications prescribed by doctors.

The same rules apply to non-medical decisions as well, like when parents choose schools for their children, religious activities, summer camps, and extracurriculars.

Bay Area Child Custody Lawyers

Our team at Fenchel Family Law PC is experienced in handling conflict between parents about major decisions for their child.

If you are having a conflict with your ex about a decision for your child, call our child custody lawyers today at (415) 805-9069 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.