Your child’s medical care is critically important to their health and well-being, and as a parent, you likely have strong feelings about when and how they receive the care they need.

If you and your co-parent are no longer a couple but share custody of your child or children, you will likely have to make joint medical decisions. In the case of a medical emergency or non-invasive healthcare treatment, one parent can consent to medical treatment during their time with the child. However, invasive medical treatment will often require the consent of both parents.

The legal right for co-parents to make decisions about their children’s health is determined by conservatorship. Often, both parents are named joint managing conservators and work together to make decisions in the best interest of their child or children. However, some judges and courts rule that these decisions can be made independently of each other.

Ideally, co-parents are able to work together to determine the best decisions for their children regarding healthcare. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes conservatorships are structured in a way that gives one parent the authority to make a decision if both parents can’t agree. In practice, this could look like one parent independently or exclusively making the decision.

In the event that you and your co-parent have joint conservatorship but disagree about the best course of action regarding invasive medical care, you have several options at your disposal. Consulting with your doctor or pediatrician is always a wise step as is negotiating with your ex and trying to reach a compromise. However, if you believe your child’s well-being is in danger, a court order may be needed to ensure your child’s safety.

If you and your co-parent need support navigating a medical decision for your child or if you are contemplating getting a court order, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can assist with negotiations and obtaining a court order.

At Sandoval Law Firm we understand the stress of dealing with divorce, child custody and domestic violence. Our firm consists of founding attorney Raul Sandoval Jr. and a dedicated support staff. Mr. Sandoval earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Since that time, he has been practicing family law in the Austin area, as w