Select Page

Who Makes Medical Decisions in NY Child Custody Cases?  




Who Makes Medical Decisions in NY Child Custody Cases?

When two parents decide to end their relationship, many decisions must be made regarding their children’s health and welfare. Which parent the child stays with, who has visitation, and which parent can make medical decisions for their child depends on what the parents agree upon or what a judge decides. Let’s explore the latter aspect of child custody cases below.

Legal Custody & Medical Decisions on Long Island

There are generally two types of child custody that can be awarded to one or both parents in a Long Island, NY child custody case — legal custody and physical custody. The parent who has physical custody will house the child at their home for at least 50 percent of the time. It’s more common for one parent to have primary physical custody, which affords them 60 percent or more of the child’s time. The other parent will have visitation with the child for two-thirds of the child’s time or less.

Legal custody may be awarded to one or both parents. Very few parents are denied legal custody of their child, with the exception of cases involving child abuse and/or domestic violence. Legal custody allows a parent to make important life decisions for their child, which include but are not limited to medical decisions. When both parents have legal custody and disagree on their child’s medical care, a judge typically has to make a decision for them based on the best interests and wellbeing of the child.

On What Kind of Medical Decisions Might Parents Disagree?

Parents can disagree on any type of medical treatment, diagnostic test, or any other kind of medical care. They may disagree due to religious beliefs or because they believe there’s a better alternative. Some of the most common medical decisions divorced or separated parents disagree on include:

  • Immunizations. Some parents may disagree on whether or not to vaccinate their children or which vaccinations to get. One parent may fear side effects or may have religious beliefs that preclude them from consenting to immunizations for their child, while the other is in favor of following medical advice.
  • Emergency medical care. When presented with a crisis, one parent may not be available to provide consent to emergency surgery or pain relief. Or, parents may have different ideas about what type of medical care is best for their child. This can be detrimental to a child in an emergency situation and there may not be time for parents to argue about their medical options.
  • Prescription drug treatment. Parents can also disagree on treating their children with certain prescription medications. It’s common for one parent to be staunchly opposed to psychotropic medications, for example, while the other wants to help their struggling child in any way possible. Or, one parent may favor naturopathy and want the child to use homeopathic solutions.
  • End-of-life care. No parent should have to make decisions about the end of their child’s life, but when this happens, parents often fight about what is best for their dying child. In many cases, one parent wants to try every possible treatment and intervention to prolong the child’s life, while the other is more concerned with their child’s quality of life and if treatment will cause them additional pain or discomfort during their final days.
  • Organ donation. Losing a child is devastating and tragic. Sometimes, the possibility of organ donation arises and parents must choose whether or not to donate their child’s organs. Some parents find comfort in their child living through others, while other parents may not be able to bear the thought or may have religious constraints that prohibit blood and organ donation.

Contact Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Today For Child Custody Legal Help In New York

At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we understand how challenging it can be to make important medical decisions for your child when your ex does not agree with what you believe is best for them. It can be even more frustrating when physicians and medical professionals are making recommendations in your child’s best interests and your ex does not want to comply. We can help you protect your child’s physical and mental health and wellness when you and your child’s other parent disagree. Call today at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page and we’ll contact you.

Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

Rob Chris Trans 1

Schedule your complimentary consultation and case evaluation with our experienced attorneys today. When you call, you’ll speak to our friendly Client Services Director, who will be able to answer your general questions and set up your appointment with an attorney who specializes in your unique case.

At your meeting, your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this meeting we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

No Cost or Obligation

There is no cost or obligation for this initial consultation. It is simply an opportunity for us to get to know each other, answer your questions and learn if Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is right the right law firm for you. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form below to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation.

All Fields Are Required

Divorce Lawyer Long Island New York
Melissa Rappa
Melissa Rappa
18:09 08 Feb 24
At one of the hardest and most stressful times of my life, it was so comforting to have a team at Hornberger and Verbitsky who ALWAYS responded in record speed to my questions, phone calls, emails or texts and who I felt really cared about helping me through this difficult time. It was a long few years and I am grateful to all of you. Thank you so much Rob, AnneMarie, Christine, Patty, Joan and Lawrence. Your guidance, professionalism and expertise is appreciated beyond measure.
Paul Carmichael
Paul Carmichael
16:21 11 Dec 23
I would give 6 stars if I could. I can't say enough good things about Robert and his firm. We were in a situation for over 2 years and I could have never made it through without Robert's experience and knowledge. He guided me through tough times when needed and his expertise could "read" the situation and make the next best move for me. He was tough when he needed to be tough (thankfully) and at the same time guided me through the process to make me feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. I would not want to go through this process without Robert and his team having my back. he helped move the case along and not waste any time or money. One last time, I 100% endorse Robert and his expertise.
Child Support & Spousal Maintenance Tools
Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C. respects your right to privacy. We will never sell your information to any third party. Follow this link to read our full privacy policy.