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Who gets to choose your child’s doctor?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2022 | Child custody and visitation |

If you and your ex were still married, you know that you would have both worked together to choose a doctor for your child. That’s what you did when the child needed a pediatrician and they had just been born. But both of you moved after the divorce and so it’s time to find a new doctor, and you’re not sure how to make that decision.

Perhaps you’ve already made some suggestions, but your ex hasn’t gone along with them. Now you’re wondering who has the right to make the choice and if you can just do it without their permission.

Do you have legal custody?

When you were given your child custody order, you may have been most focused on the physical custody side of things. Where is the child going to live? How often do you get to see them? These are the big questions that parents often ask, and physical custody does help to determine this.

But legal custody is what determines who gets to make decisions like what school a child goes to or what doctor they visit. If you and your ex have both been given shared legal custody, then you cannot make decisions without their permission, and you’re supposed to both work together to make these choices. If only one of you has legal custody, even if you both share physical custody, then the person with those legal custody rights gets to make this decision on their own.

Things like this can get complicated, especially when two parents cannot agree with one another, and so it’s important to know about the legal steps you may need to take.