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What to Do When You and Your Ex Have Decidedly Different Stances on Your Child’s Health Care

As parents, you are responsible for your child’s health and well-being until they are 18 years of age, and while every parent wants what’s best for their children, the definition of what’s considered “best” can be up for interpretation. 

Divorced parents who have decidedly different stances on what is right for their child in terms of health care can find themselves in difficult and contentious situations. From COVID vaccines to cancer treatment to transgender healthcare, what happens when you and your ex can’t agree?

Look to Your Parenting Plan

Co-parenting is tough. Co-parenting when you and your ex completely disagree on an issue may seem nearly impossible. And decisions about health are especially ripe for disputes. Emotions are high, and the outcome of those decisions could put your child at risk.

If you find yourself in this situation, first look to your parenting plan. What does the court order say about medical decision-making power? It may denote differences between emergency and non-emergency medical situations, or it may give decision-making powers solely to one parent. 

In general, Florida law favors both parents playing an active role in a child’s life, but authority in terms of medical decisions may be treated differently.

Make Every Attempt to Work Things Out Together

Deep-rooted positions can be hard to change, but you should do everything you can to talk things through maturely with your ex. Remember to keep your child’s best interests front and center and listen to each other’s points of view.

Consult a Medical Professional

While a health professional can’t make a decision for you, they can offer you more information and explain the benefits and risks of pursuing a specific course of care for your child.

Get a Court Order

As a last resort, it may be necessary to take things back to court. If you and your ex cannot make inroads, you may need to ask the court to step in. A judge will prioritize your child’s safety regardless of what you or your ex want. 

If you and your ex cannot come to an agreement about medical treatment for your child, come talk to us at the Vasquez de Lara Law Group. Our family law lawyers will help you understand your rights and options for ensuring what’s best for your family remains protected. 


Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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