Divorce is never easy. When children are involved, even more difficulties may arise. Together, decisions about their children still need to be navigated by divorced parents. Some of the things they must discuss can include visitation negotiations, schooling, and other crucial issues having to do with parenting. If divorced parents can’t agree on treatment and other medical issues, a child’s medical care dispute after divorce may not be uncommon. In New Jersey, what rights do divorced parents have where decisions regarding their child’s medical treatment and healthcare are concerned?
When one or more children are involved, equitable marital asset distribution, alimony, child support, and child custody are determined by a family court judge. One parent is given sole custody or parents share custody. The court has the discretion to determine the best interests of the child and enter appropriate custody arrangements. This includes direction as to when and how each parent is authorized to make decisions regarding the child’s care, schooling, and other special needs.
This could mean that…
- All the medical decisions will be authorized by one parent
- Or both parents must make a decision together
- Or, at the time during which they have the child with them, that parent is authorized to make decisions.
Note: Both parents frequently share the responsibility and authority for major decision-making (i.e., medical care) when joint legal custody is in place.
A Child’s Medical Care – When There Is a Disagreement between Parents
If you cannot reach an agreement with your co-parent regarding a course of care for your child, you may wish to have the family courts intervene for resolution. The New Jersey family courts have an overall mission where the welfare of a child is concerned. It is to protect and promote, within its jurisdiction, the child’s best interests.
When parents have a dispute where the medical care of a child is concerned, the following applies: When it comes to the needs of a child, the most fundamental and paramount concern relates to the safeguarding of the physical health of the child.
Under the constitutional statute, the courts use the discretionary power granted to them for the following (through a federal court judge):
- Review objections by parents.
- Petition for relief review.
- Hear testimony from medical professionals, parents, and witnesses deemed relevant regarding the issues at hand.
- Make permanent custodial order modifications or fashion a temporary custodial agreement deemed appropriate – in either case, the judge will consider the best interests of the child and keep them first and foremost in his/her mind.
To protect your child’s best interests, and help you navigate the family court system, all the right paperwork must be filed by a knowledgeable, experienced family lawyer in New Jersey.
Romanowski Law Offices Can Help with Divorces and Family Law Issues
One of the most important aspects of your separation will be child custody, whether your relationship is ending in a civil union dissolution, divorce, or something else. There are specifics to New Jersey’s custody laws, which you should familiarize yourself with. To pursue your rights regarding child custody, and to help you understand your options, we can be of service.
At Romanowski Law Offices, to meet the needs of our clients, innovative legal solutions are constantly being developed. We can offer expert assistance and representation in the following areas:
- Domestic Violence
- Child Support/Alimony
- Child Custody
- Family Law
- Separation, Annulment, Civil Union Dissolution, Divorce
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
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