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  1. #1
    lisa9786 is offline Junior Member
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    Question about Step-Parent Rights

    What is the name of your state? Nevada

    My ex-husband and I share both joint legal custody and joint physical custody of our children.

    My question is, does his wife (the children's step-mother) have the legal right to seek medical care for either of my children (non-emergency care) just because she is married to their father?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. #2
    tigger22472 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisa9786
    What is the name of your state? Nevada

    My ex-husband and I share both joint legal custody and joint physical custody of our children.

    My question is, does his wife (the children's step-mother) have the legal right to seek medical care for either of my children (non-emergency care) just because she is married to their father?

    Thanks in advance!

    If while in the father's home he gives permission to have his wife take the children to the doctor then that is his right and is legal.
  3. #3
    lisa9786 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigger22472
    If while in the father's home he gives permission to have his wife take the children to the doctor then that is his right and is legal.

    Wow, thanks for your quick response!

    Would that permission need to be in written form?

    Also, if I disagree with a particular physican that she has taken one of my kids to, do I have the right to object and have them taken to a different physician?
  4. #4
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisa9786
    Wow, thanks for your quick response!

    Would that permission need to be in written form?

    Also, if I disagree with a particular physican that she has taken one of my kids to, do I have the right to object and have them taken to a different physician?
    Sure you have the right to object. And your ex has the right to tell you to suck wind.

    If you want the right to tell the child's father how to care for his own child, then be willing to give that same right to him.
  5. #5
    tigger22472 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisa9786
    Wow, thanks for your quick response!

    Would that permission need to be in written form?

    Also, if I disagree with a particular physican that she has taken one of my kids to, do I have the right to object and have them taken to a different physician?
    Sure, you have the right to get a second opinion... of course if you share medical expenses then you might be required to show proof as to the reason you got a second opinion in order to have him pay

    In general NO it does not have to be in written form for your ex to give his wife permission to take the children to the doctors. Some doctors require it, some don't. My husband's ex contacted his daughter's doctor and dentist and informed them of me so that there wouldn't be a question ever but they didn't require it.
  6. #6
    lisa9786 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelizeBreeze
    If you want the right to tell the child's father how to care for his own child, then be willing to give that same right to him.
    That's part of why I'm asking - he isn't caring for his own child, he's allowing his wife to take charge of them medically, claiming he's too busy to leave work, and I particularly object to a doctor that she took my oldest son to who prescribed him an anti-psychotic medication (he's normal, he's a teenager and she can't deal with that). She did not consult their father before picking this quack nor did she consult him when she filled the prescription.

    Fortunately, I discovered this before my son took any pills. Once I discovered this and asked my ex-husband about it, he too, was upset about the prescription, but not about her choice of doctor.

    We have a very amicable divorce, I'm just trying to find out what her legal rights are when it comes to my kids. Thanks again!
  7. #7
    lisa9786 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigger22472
    Sure, you have the right to get a second opinion... of course if you share medical expenses then you might be required to show proof as to the reason you got a second opinion in order to have him pay

    In general NO it does not have to be in written form for your ex to give his wife permission to take the children to the doctors. Some doctors require it, some don't. My husband's ex contacted his daughter's doctor and dentist and informed them of me so that there wouldn't be a question ever but they didn't require it.
    Thanks again for your help!
  8. #8
    djohnson is offline Senior Member
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    In your order what kind of custody does each of you have, and who has final say?
  9. #9
    kpepperz is offline Member
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    My husband has had custody of my stepkids for almost 8 years, and I have been the only to take them to the doctor and dentist, since he works during the day. He was always made aware of what the doctor said and did, so that was never an issue, and the doctor's offices never questioned the situation. But, then again, my husband's ex could care less. The way she sees it, it's one less thing SHE has to do.
  10. #10
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisa9786
    That's part of why I'm asking - he isn't caring for his own child, he's allowing his wife to take charge of them medically, claiming he's too busy to leave work, and I particularly object to a doctor that she took my oldest son to who prescribed him an anti-psychotic medication (he's normal, he's a teenager and she can't deal with that). She did not consult their father before picking this quack nor did she consult him when she filled the prescription.

    Fortunately, I discovered this before my son took any pills. Once I discovered this and asked my ex-husband about it, he too, was upset about the prescription, but not about her choice of doctor.

    We have a very amicable divorce, I'm just trying to find out what her legal rights are when it comes to my kids. Thanks again!
    Not meaning to upset the apple cart~ But if you and your x have joint legal custody than things like anti-psychotic medication would be something you'd have to agree to. The stepmother should be able to take the children to a Dr. visit in the event of an emergency or normal routine visits- but I think this visit clearly crosses the line.

    If the child has no diagnosis which requires NECESSARY anti-psychotics...I doubt a judge would be pleased that a stepparent made this decision on her own and overstepped the boundaries of both biological parents.
  11. #11
    justlilolme is offline Member
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    The choice of what doctors your children see is to be discussed and decided between you and your ex. SM does not have the right to choose the child's doctor. If dad is not complaining about the doctor that she took the child to then there might not be much you can do about it unless your court order says that you two have to agree on doctors or unless you have the final decision making rights.

    Call the doctor that prescribed the medication. Get copies of the medical records pertaining to the visit and give them to the child's regular doctor to see if he has any thoughts on them.

    Make sure that it is clear between you and the ex what professionals the child is to be seeing and for what reasons and that you want to be notified PRIOR to the child being taken elsewhere. Maybe you should let your ex know that if he is not personally available to take the children to the doctor that you are willing and available.
  12. #12
    djohnson is offline Senior Member
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    None of this matters if he custody order doesn't state that. We need to know what the custody order states if their isn't an agreement. Which parent has final say? If it's dad and he authorized the step mom, then the mom has no choice. Even if the dad agrees it might be over the top. It's something that should have been discussed yes, but who has final say?
  13. #13
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by djohnson
    None of this matters if he custody order doesn't state that. We need to know what the custody order states if their isn't an agreement. Which parent has final say? If it's dad and he authorized the step mom, then the mom has no choice. Even if the dad agrees it might be over the top. It's something that should have been discussed yes, but who has final say?
    OP has joint legal custody which pertains to major medical decisions. I believe a reasonable judge would consider anti-psychotic medication for a child not diagnosed with a mental disorder to be just that.
  14. #14
    djohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Even with joint legal custody, many times there are inserts in the order as to what if there is a disagreement. Who has final say etc etc... I'm taking this post as the child was probably given medicine for ADD or ADHD and the mother is against it. It might help to also know what the medicine was given for. I don't think the Dr. just up and gave the kid anti-psychotic medicine for absolutely no reason. What reason did the Dr give?
  15. #15
    haiku is offline Senior Member
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    A doctor would not risk his or her license to subscribe meds willy nilly without a diagnosis, and parental permission.

    mom would be wise to inform the doctor that she has joint legal, and would like to be involved with the decision making process.

    The doctor will pull that scrip if the mother dissagrees with the treatment, and shows her legal custody papers to prove it.
    "It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men." Frederick Douglas

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