Parents can often amicably come up with a custody or visitation schedule for their children after a divorce. However, things can get more complicated when it comes to legal custody involving medical decisions. The most important thing is communication when you are trying to determine medical decision-making during child custody in Alpharetta. Our team is available to guide you through this important concern.

What Are Medical Decision-Making Rights?

Medical decision-making rights over children is one of the major rights that parents negotiate or fight over in the divorce process. When a couple is going through a divorce, one of the things often discussed is that both of them are going to share joint legal custody. This gives both parents access to medical and school records, and it requires both parents to talk and try to come up with a resolution if they do not agree. One of the main areas of concern is medical decision-making power.

If the parents cannot agree after a good-faith discussion, then someone has to be designated by the court as the final decision-maker.

Potential Conflicts

It is a family-by-family basis on whether decision-making rights over the children are going to cause a conflict. In a standard family in Alpharetta where the children do not have special needs, the medical decision-making power might not be that big of a deal. Usually there is an agreement about getting childhood vaccines or needing an annual checkup. One potential conflict occurs when one parent is responsible for educational decisions, the other is responsible for medical decisions, and they disagree about vaccines, which are often required for school.

Modifying Child Custody Based on Medical Decisions

It is not the court’s place to come in and second-judge a parent’s final decision-making power. It is important for spouses to have a good-faith discussion of the issue. Modification would not be based on a decision to get a vaccine or not to get one. The determination is more based on having good-faith negotiations between parents before that final medical decision-making power is made by a court in Alpharetta.

It is possible to remove someone’s final decision-making power over a vaccine if it represents another instance in a pattern of behavior showing that the parents are not communicating – or if one parent has a pattern of neglecting the child’s medical needs. With any final decision that someone is going to make, they should reach out to the other parent and discuss it.

The Importance of Communicating

Simply because two people engage in discussion does not mean they are going to reach an agreement but it is important to get a sense of what the other party is thinking. If a person is in a situation where it is extremely difficult to communicate with their ex, they could do it through email or some other means of communication.

It is important for the discussion to be genuine, authentic, and made in good-faith, and not just a performance for legal reasons. That is what the courts are looking for: a good-faith attempt to actually co-parent and make decisions together. Another thing to keep it mind is to document these discussions. If things do escalate, and the court needs to get involved to consider a modification, evidence of this attempt can be helpful.

Work with an Alpharetta Attorney When Discussing Medical Decision-Making Rights

The health of your child is critical, but it can be a difficult subject if you and your ex disagree about how to handle it, or if they have been neglectful in the past. Call a lawyer regarding medical decision-making during child custody in Alpharetta. We will work with you to make your voice heard.

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