If each parent shares equal legal/physical custody, can one parent seek medical and/or mental health care for the children without consent from the other parent?

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If each parent shares equal legal/physical custody, can one parent seek medical and/or mental health care for the children without consent from the other parent?

Asked on September 5, 2012 under Family Law, Indiana

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Each parent's duties are spelled out in a divorce decree-- and as a general rule, both parents are usually granted the right to seek and consent to medical treatment, regardless of the views of the other parent.  However, some people do tweak their agreements and place restrictions on this right or require the parents to consult before consenting to medical treatment.  To know for sure, you need to crack out the order which set up visitation and look under the section regarding the rights and duties of each parent.  If the medical situation is an emergency, it's always best to err on the side of caution and get treatment for the child. 

In the mean time, if your decree is not clear and this is a major issue, you may want to seek a modification or clarification so that there are no issues in the future.


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