Should Custody Be Changed So He Won’t Interfere With Medical Decisions?
Parents are given custody of a child based on their ability to meet his or her best interests. Generally speaking, judges don’t care how the parents feel about each other or their parenting styles. Therefore, just because you don’t agree with the decisions that your child’s other parent has made doesn’t mean that these decisions are wrong. Let’s look at some reasons why a custody ruling would be change if a dispute arises about medical care.
Is the Other Parent Denying Needed Care?
If your son or daughter has asthma, it is important that he or she have access to an inhaler. It is also important that your child have access to a doctor who can help to contain or perhaps eliminate the condition over time. The same general concept of having access to medical care when needed also applies for any condition that your child may have. To show that medication, trips to specialists or other care is needed, obtain a note from your child’s doctor. A physician may also be able to testify in court about the treatment a child needs but is being denied.
Are You Denying the Child Needed Care?
It is possible that you are denying your child the care that he or she needs to avoid developmental delays. In some cases, you may not even realize that your decisions aren’t in the best interest of your children. For instance, following the advice of a blogger over the advice of a doctor could put your child in harm’s way. In such a scenario, the child’s other parent could actually be intervening for the good of the child as opposed to trying to frustrate you.
Changing a Custody Order Isn’t Easy
Once a custody order is put into place, any changes to that order must be authorized by a judge. This may mean first going to see a lawyer to determine what changes should be proposed to that judge. It may also mean spending time and money obtaining medical records or other documentation needed to prove that the other parent is interfering with a child’s medical care.
Therefore, you have to determine if the investment of both time and money is worth it to have a custody order changed. Unless your son or daughter is about to die because of a medical problem, you should talk to the other parent about your feelings first. This may make it possible to come to a compromise solution without the need for litigation.
Informal Alterations Can Be Made to a Parenting Plan
Instead of a wholesale change to a custody agreement, alterations can be made to it on an informal basis. For instance, you could ask to take the child to the doctor or to administer medication. In some cases, your former spouse could agree to the change without any conditions. However, you should be ready to negotiate to increase the odds of getting the alteration that you want.
The other parent might propose that you don’t ask for spousal support for several months or that you provide more access to the child. It is important to note that child support orders must generally be followed to the letter if a parent is receiving public services. Otherwise, you could agree to a reduction in child support for a predetermined period of time.
However, be sure that this is in the best interest of the child before doing so. If it is not deemed to be in the child’s best interest, a judge could actually revoke or limit your custody rights if the matter ever did go to court. A reduction in spousal support will not likely be met with much outrage as these payments are designed to meet your needs only.
A Court May Want to Review the Long-Term Implications of Limited Care
If you do decide to pursue a change to a current custody order, there is no guarantee that one will be granted right away. This is especially true if a child’s health condition is a relatively minor one or is more of an inconvenience than a true matter of life or death. Instead, the judge who presides over your case may want to hear from the child’s doctors or other health professionals. Therefore, do not expect immediate results even if you feel like there is a strong case for obtaining greater decision making authority.
Custody matters are rarely easy to solve as there are many viewpoints to consider. In the event that you believe a child’s father is preventing your son or daughter from getting proper medical care, don’t hesitate to speak with a lawyer. This may make it easier to preserve your rights even if the process of altering a custody arrangement can be a long one.