Making medical decisions when co-parenting

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Family Law

Parents who are going through a divorce have to make several decisions about their children. For example, when they’re establishing their parenting plan, they have to determine how to handle future medical care decisions for their children. In some cases, one parent will have decision-making powers, but those powers may also be split between both parents.

The guidelines that are set forth in a family’s parenting plan should include what needs to happen when a routine medical decision must be made. There should also be a plan for emergency medical care decisions, such as if the child is in a car crash and needs emergency care.

Both parents should be informed

Co-parents must be able to communication openly and often, partially so they can make informed decisions about their child’s medical care. These discussions should include basic information, such as health status, as well as more complex information like diagnosis and treatment plan options.

Keeping track of appointments may be easier if parents use shared calendars or health apps to stay informed and involved. This transparency helps to ensure that both parties are aware of the child’s needs and can collaborate on important decisions accordingly.

Decision-making terms

Decision-making terms outline how medical decisions will be made. A parenting plan should specify who will be responsible for routine check-ups, emergency care and decisions about treatments or surgeries. Clearly defined roles can help to minimize conflicts and better ensure that decisions are made promptly and effectively. This includes whether decision-making powers transfer to the parent with the child if an emergency decision needs to be made.

Compromise might be necessary

Flexibility is often key in co-parenting, especially regarding medical care decisions. As children grow and their health needs change, parents must be willing to adjust their approach and decision-making processes. This might involve re-evaluating their parenting plan, seeking new medical opinions or being open to alternative treatments.

Getting a solid parenting plan set up as early as possible can be beneficial for everyone involved. Having comprehensive information about medical care is critical, so it may behoove parents to work with a legal representative who can help to set things up in a way that better enables their children to thrive.