The noncustodial parent and medical treatment

Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1993;21(3):357-64.


Despite the frequency of divorce, there are no comprehensive guidelines for the relative rights of custodial and noncustodial parents. Since there are no definite rules for the parties to follow, divorced parents receive conflicting advice and are more likely to engage in bitter misunderstandings. This paper creates a framework for defining whether the noncustodial parent has a right to authorize emergency medical care, routine medical care, serious nonemergency medical care, psychiatric evaluation, and psychiatric treatment. The author suggests that the noncustodial parent should be able to authorize routine medical treatment, but not routine psychiatric treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Custody / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Dissent and Disputes
  • Divorce / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Emergency Medical Services / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Group Processes
  • Hospitalization / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Legal Guardians*
  • Male
  • Minors*
  • Parental Consent*
  • Psychotherapy / legislation & jurisprudence