Lofaro & Headley, LLC


What happens when divorced parents disagree about healthcare?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2021 | Family Law

It is common for divorced parents to share custody of children. In these cases, it is usually accepted that both parents should share in the decision-making process when it comes to their children’s healthcare.

However, what happens when the parents do not agree?

Parental disagreements over healthcare

Many divorce agreements include a framework to follow when parents do not agree on parenting decisions after a divorce. However, these agreements are usually not specific enough to dictate a resolution for every disagreement that may arise. Because of religious or personal beliefs, parents may not always agree on which medical procedures are appropriate for their children. In particular, it is common for parents to disagree about controversial topics, such as vaccinations or healthcare for transgender children.

Consequences of disagreements

Parents who can not agree on medical care for children may have to resolve their differences in court. However, because of the time and risk involved, some parents may choose to act on their own, against the wishes of the other parent and without consent from the court. When this happens, that parent may violate the custody agreement which can result in sanctions by the court, the requirement to pay the other parent’s legal fees or the loss of some or all of their custodial privileges.

In most cases, it is beneficial for the parents to come to an amicable agreement about their children’s healthcare. However, if they can not reach an agreement, they may need to resolve the dispute in court. If the matter goes before a judge, the judge will decide based on the custody agreement and the best interests of the child.