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Communicating With an Ex-spouse Regarding Your Child’s Medical Treatment

In our previous blog posts, we’ve highlighted the importance of ongoing communication with your ex-spouse regarding your child’s medical care and well-being. This communication becomes especially crucial when your child requires consistent medical attention. “Do I have to tell my ex about every doctor appointment?” This is a question that many co-parents grapple with, especially when it comes to their child’s medical care.

Essential information to discuss with your ex-spouse regarding your child’s medical treatment

Your ex-spouse should know if any new diagnoses have come about due to your child treating by a medical provider. This diagnosis will help your ex-spouse understand your child’s condition and improve their care. Additionally, if your ex-spouse has a treatment provider appointment, this information can assist in planning a new treatment course.

You need to inform your ex-spouse about any prescriptions that your child is taking. This includes providing information about the locations where the drugs can be refilled, the correct dosages, side effects, and the purpose of each medication.

What is the treatment plan for your child, and how can your ex-spouse contribute to its success? If you are the primary conservator of your child, it may be that you attend the majority of doctor’s appointments with them. Under your Final Decree of Divorce, your ex-spouse is likely entitled to receive information about your child’s medical treatment, just as you are entitled to receive information from your ex-spouse.

How to go about getting a second opinion for your child

You and your ex-spouse need to be involved in obtaining a second opinion about your child’s health care needs. In some cases, either you or your ex-spouse may not be entitled to have a say in this matter due to what is ordered in your final decree of divorce. Do you have to tell your ex about every doctor appointment? In these situations, it is essential to share information, as we stated in the prior section of this blog but only to the extent that your final decree of divorce permits or good sense requires.

However, suppose your final decree of divorce does not bar either parent from having a say in your child’s medical treatment. In that case, you should always notify your ex-spouse before taking your child to get a second opinion from a physician outside of their treatment network. If you want to get a second opinion, then it makes sense that you would pay for that doctor’s appointment on your own.

If it is appropriate, you and your ex-spouse should attend the appointment with the doctor together. This will allow both of you to receive the same information and updates. Make sure to have all of your child’s treating providers send along with medical records for the physician to review before treating your child. This will encourage dialogue between your child’s primary physician and the second opinion provider. You should immediately send whatever results you receive from the second opinion provider to the primary physician.

Emergencies involving the health and well-being of your child

If an emergency has arisen for your child, providing timely updates to your ex-spouse may not be possible. However, when the opportunity arises, reach out to your ex-spouse. Ensure you communicate the nature of the emergency, your child’s current location, and any available doctor or hospital contact information.

With this in mind, in case of an emergency, dealing with insurance logistics and other issues should be avoided. Before facing such a situation, ensure both you and your ex-spouse have access to insurance ID cards, policy numbers, group numbers, and the insurer’s name. Your final decree of divorce may require this. However, it’s a good practice to follow, whether mandated by the court or not.

Final words on communications regarding school

Once more, improved communication with your ex-spouse can prevent conflicts and benefit your child. This applies to healthcare and school matters. You and your ex-spouse will likely receive updates from each other and directly from the school regarding your child’s education. Ensure both of you receive these updates individually and as a united front. The school should be aware of your co-parenting capabilities and willingness to engage as responsible parents.

This includes information as essential as where your child is attending school and the location of that school. This may seem extreme, but I have had clients in the past who have had their child enrolled in multiple schools in a given semester. These clients often don’t know whether their child is enrolled in school, let alone which school their child is attending.

You and your spouse should both be listed as emergency contacts at the school. You should also have the ability to pick up your child in case of an emergency, unless your final divorce decree prohibits it. It’s not wise to remove  your ex-spouse’s name from the list due to being the primary conservator. Such behavior can lead to legal consequences, including court appearances and enforcement lawsuits filed by your ex-spouse.

Getting back to the Golden Rule

The crux of the matter is that you and your ex-spouse are still teammates. Despite the decision to divorce, you both made a commitment to raise a child together. So, do you have to tell your ex about every doctor appointment? The key lies in continuing to prioritize respect and tolerance towards your ex-spouse, demonstrating your love for your child in the process.

Questions about post-divorce life? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

Adjusting to life raising a child as a single adult is difficult. The attorneys at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, recognize these difficulties. We want you to know that we are here to help. If you have questions about this transition time or anything related to living a successful life after divorce, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office today.

Our licensed family law attorneys are available six days a week to meet with you for a free-of-charge consultation. We represent clients across southeast Texas and would be honored to speak to you about the services we can provide you and your family as a client of our office.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three types of co-parenting?

Cooperative Co-Parenting, Parallel Co-Parenting, and Collaborative Co-Parenting are the three types of co-parenting.

What is the most common type of Co-Parenting?

Cooperative Co-Parenting is considered the most common type, where parents work together and communicate effectively for the child’s well-being.

What are the different types of co-parents?

Co-parents can be biological parents, adoptive parents, step-parents, or same-sex parents, depending on the family’s unique situation.

What are examples of co-parenting?

Examples of co-parenting include parents attending school events together, making joint decisions about their child’s upbringing, and collaborating on important milestones.

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