Can your ex make medical choices for the kids without your input?

by | Feb 11, 2022 | Child Custody And Visitation

Different people from different backgrounds may have very different opinions about modern medical care. For example, there are religions that do not approve of their adherents receiving blood transfusions. There are also religions that refuse certain treatments because of how medical professionals created those treatments or the materials used to produce them. 

If your ex has different values or a different religion than yours, you may not agree about medical treatment. Can they make decisions without consulting you regarding your children’s healthcare? 

Your custody order should explain who has medical authority

Some couples negotiate their own custody arrangements, while others go to court and have a judge make the big decisions. Regardless of which approach you employ, the two of you will need to split parenting time and all the other responsibilities that come with parenthood. 

The final custody order will detail the responsibilities of each parent. Typically, parents will share custody, including both physical and legal custody. Legal custody includes decision-making authority, and that includes the right to make decisions about medical treatment. 

If your ex has sole legal custody, they can make decisions without your input. Otherwise, they may need to consult with you before they make major decisions. If you worry that what your ex wants to do regarding medical treatment will not be what is best for your children, you may be able to go to court and ask for a modification that gives you more legal custody, specifically regarding the medical care for your children. 

Knowing your rights and obligations as someone sharing custody in California can help you protect your children.