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Parenting by itself can be a difficult job, but co-parenting with a difficult ex comes with its own set of maladies. Indeed, you may have differences about entertainment, rule enforcement and discipline, but when it comes to medical treatment (and payment for procedures) parents should be on the same page.

But unfortunately, this may not always be the case.

One parent may want the kids to see a doctor who offices close to where they live, or one parent does not trust the children’s current care provider. They may not be particularly responsible when it comes to making sure a child takes their medicine. Even worse, a parent may completely disregard a physician’s recommendations for their own personal (non-medical) reasons.

In these situations, what can parents do to resolve rifts over medical care?

The provisions of your custody order are a good place to start. Parents who have legal custody of their children have a right to make decisions about their child’s medical care. Essentially, they can make decisions about what type of medical treatment the child receives. This includes decisions about examinations and prescriptions, emergency room treatments, surgical procedures and even dentistry care.

Keep in mind that parents who have joint legal custody (as opposed to sole legal custody) share this decision-making power with the other parent. So if the other parent is interfering in, or thwarting your medical decision-making authority, a consultation with an experienced family law attorney may be in order.

The preceding is not legal advice. 

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