When two parents work together to create reasonable parenting and support agreements that distribute duties and obligations fairly, they often find it easier to focus on fully meeting the needs of their child. However, even the best-intentioned co-parents may disagree from time to time. When these disputes are surrounding a child’s medical care, finding a resolution can feel especially challenging.
If you and your co-parent want to make your child’s care and provision a priority, it is important to start by understanding your individual roles when it comes to medical decisions and medical expenses. A family law attorney can often be useful in helping you to navigate these issues – and ensure that nothing is overlooked.
Understanding your obligations and privileges
When it comes to a child’s medical care, there are two major things to consider. First, how will you determine what medical care your child gets if you and your co-parent are in disagreement? Second, how much will each of you be responsible for medical expenses not covered by insurance? Child support does not include these expenses, so each parent will likely bear some portion of the responsibility for uncovered expenses.
When disagreements arise
One area that could cause conflict is when parents disagree about their child receiving optional medical care, such as braces. If one parent wants the child to have braces, and the other parent is responsible for the bulk of the cost, a conflict may arise.
Establishing terms to solve these conflicts is especially important if one parent has religious or ethical objections to a certain type of medical care, such as vaccination. Your parenting agreement could help in such instances. It may map out what should be done in the event that you and your co-parent do not agree, or could even designate one of you with final decision-making authority. Mediation may be another option to help you and your co-parent find a solution that works for both of you.
However you choose to resolve these conflicts, be sure to do so while keeping the best interests of the child in mind. An experienced family law attorney can offer valuable guidance to help you through the process.