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How to Resolve Conflicts About Children’s Non-Emergency Medical Care

May 19, 2020

The first disagreement you had with your spouse about your child probably had something to do with the child’s health. Is it more dangerous for a newborn to be somewhat too hot or somewhat too cold, and therefore, should you add a layer of clothing or remove one? When the baby wakes up in the middle of the night, how long should you let him cry before you pick him up? Is the baby crying because she is hungry or because she is too full? Some of these problems resolve themselves when children learn to talk, but parents often disagree about what is healthy or wholesome for children. In an intact marriage, you compromise and try to understand each other’s perspectives, but when you divorce, it only gets more difficult to reach an agreement. Parenting plans give you a framework for non-emergency healthcare decisions, but they don’t resolve every healthcare-related conflict that can arise. Sometimes you have to involve lawyers, and the family law attorneys at Iwanyshyn & Associates have an excellent track record at helping former spouses deal with contentious issues in co-parenting.

Parenting Plans and Healthcare Decisions in Pennsylvania

Divorced parents who have minor children should have a Child Custody Agreement, or parenting plan. The more detailed the better to resolve issues that arise. The parenting plan allows you fill in details about time sharing, transporting the children from one parent to the other, education-related decisions, and non-emergency medical decisions. It is not possible to predict every health issue the children will have before the children reach adulthood. Instead, the parenting plan lets you elect to give healthcare decision-making power to just one parent or to require the parents to reach an agreement. The following are some common medical issues about which parents disagree:

⦁ When to remove a teenager’s wisdom teeth

⦁ When a preteen should get braces

⦁ If and when a child should take medication for ADHD or a mental illness, as opposed to attempting to manage it purely through counseling

⦁ Whether to allow a teenager to get a cosmetic medical procedure that he or she wants

⦁ Whether to manage a child’s recurrent ear infections by surgically placing tubes or by more conservative treatments

Many disagreements about non-emergency medical care have a financial aspect; in other words, the parents disagree about whether it is worthwhile to pay for an expensive treatment. The parenting plan does not deal with any financial decisions; it is completely separate from the child support order, although one factor in determining child support is how much time the children spend with each parent. If you and your ex-spouse disagree about the appropriateness of a certain medical treatment for your child, or the financial aspect thereof, you may need your lawyer’s help in solving the problem, with or without going back to court.

Iwanyshyn & Associates Helps You Navigate Challenging Co-Parenting Situations

When you and your ex disagree about what is healthy or financially wise, sometimes you need to involve a third party to help you decide. Contact Iwanyshyn & Associates in Pittsburgh about resolve issues that your parenting plan leaves open-ended.