Navigating a dispute about your child’s medical care

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2023 | Child Custody

There are few scenarios that are more difficult to navigate than those involving an impasse between two parents who simply cannot agree on a meaningful life choice that will affect their child to any great degree. How does “a tie” like this get broken when there is no way to resolve such differences?

When it comes to a child’s medical care, if parents share legal custody, they are technically both empowered to make decisions on that child’s behalf. If only one parent has legal custody, a “tie” gets broken in favor of that parent. But, if both parents are entitled to make decisions regarding healthcare, a court may be compelled to step in and resolve the impasse in question. 

What are the best interests of the child?

If a co-parenting dispute involving two adults with joint legal custody escalates to litigation, any family law judge who is assigned to hear the case will utilize the “best interests of the child” standard to resolve the matter. As this standard is applied in ways that are somewhat subjective to the perceptions of the judge in question, it is usually ideal if parents can resolve their differences out of court so that they aren’t leaving the fate of their child’s medical care up to an agent of the state.

With that said, judges generally do try to be as objective as possible when assessing which parent’s preferred approach to medical care will best reflect their child’s interests. As a result, framing one’s position with this in mind can better help to ensure its success. 

Litigated matters related to a child’s medical care are inherently high-stakes in nature. Therefore, it’s generally best to seek legal guidance if you find yourself in this situation, instead of attempting to construct a legal strategy without informed professional support.