At Westfield Mediation, LLC, our mediators make a point of explaining these two types of custody and having it clarified in writing in the divorce agreement. So, parents must be in agreement about any medical treatment for their children. However, there is an exception as well. In the case of an emergency (like your kid fell out of a tree and broke her arm or you are concerned your child has the Coronavirus) a parent is able to seek immediate medical attention without permission from the other party. However, that parent must inform the other parent as soon as possible and provide all information about the nature of the emergency as well as the name, location, and phone number of the hospital providing the emergency care. Both parents need to be aware of any follow-up care. And if the child then needs supportive care (nebulizer, inhaler, etc.) both parents must keep whatever the child needs in their respective homes.
These are standard procedures our divorce mediators write into your divorce agreement. So, while the Coronavirus is wreaking havoc with the world right now, if needed you are prepared to seek medical treatment for your child without having to worry about getting permission from your co-parent first. Joint legal custody means both parents have to be in agreement, except in case of an emergency. I think everyone can agree that this Coronavirus pandemic feels like an emergency.
For more information on divorce mediation, please contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, M. Ed., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, at Westfield Mediation, LLC at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.