If My Child Gets Sick, Can I Make Medical Decisions Without Consulting Their Other Parent?
When possible, Florida courts will award shared parental responsibility to both parents. There are times, however, when the parents cannot agree on the custody arrangements or the court deems this is not in the child’s best interest. When the court finds that shared parental responsibility is not in the best interest of the child, or that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child the the court can order shared parental responsibility with one parent having ultimate decision making or in even more severe circumstances the court may order sole parental responsibility.
Parental decision making following a child custody case is not as simple as many individuals think.
The parental responsibility options that a Florida can order are as follows:
- Shared parental responsibility means a court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and in which both parents confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly.
- Shared Parental Responsibility with ultimate decision making authority means a court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and in which both parents confer with each other on major decisions affecting the welfare of the child but one parent is given the ultimate decision making authority as to specified areas where a decision is required.
- Sole parental responsibility means a court-ordered relationship in which one parent makes decisions regarding the minor child.
When the courts award shared parental responsibility, there are potential issues that can arise. One of the most serious being what happens when the parents are at odds when it comes to vital medical decisions for their child?
Refer to Your Parenting Plan When Issues Arise
When child custody is an issue, parents are required to create and submit a parenting plan. Your Orlando Child Custody Attorney will craft and submit a plan that can be approved by the court. When a decision, such as a medical procedure, finds parents at odds, your parenting plan may hold the answers. Many times, the courts may have designated one parent as the ultimate decision maker- which is enforceable by law. There may be exceptions, and the courts can look at instances where this designation should be changed. If this is the case, and the designee is no longer making decisions that benefit the child, your Orlando Child Custody Attorney can contact the courts to petition for a change to the plan.
Try to Find Creative Solutions to Decision Making Disputes
If you find that your parenting plan provides no answer to your current situation, your next step will be to collaborate with your partner to try and reach a solution amongst yourselves. Your child’s best interests should always be at the forefront of any solution that you come up with. If you find it difficult to reach a solution, mediation may help each party to realistically discuss your child’s health care needs. Unfortunately, in some circumstances a party may have to litigate over issues related to the medical care their child needs. In these circumstances it may be necessary to ask the court to modify the parenting plan in regard to shared parental responsibility and decision making. Florida courts can modify a parenting plan when a party can prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and the modification is in the best interest of the minor children.
If You Feel Your Child’s Health May Be at Risk, Seek Legal Advice
When working to protect the health of your child, you may find yourself needing legal advice regarding parental responsibility issues. The Florida Court System handles all family court cases under the best interest of the child standard. If you feel that your partner is not acting in the best interest of your child by either being neglectful or placing your child in a dangerous situation, then you have options. Discuss these options with your with one of the Orlando Child Custody Attorneys at The Virga Law Firm to ensure that your child’s health and well being are protected.
Discuss your case with Your Orlando Child Custody Attorney
If you feel that the medical needs of your child are not being met, it is time to let your Orlando Child Custody Attorney assist you in creating a plan that will protect your child from harm. Call The Virga Law Firm today at 800-822-5170 to schedule your consultation today.