Q: Modify a custody agreement because of medical issues?
Currently, my ex husband and I have joint custody of our 2 daughters. It's been in place for 6 years, and has not been a problem, until now. We cannot agree on a certain medical issue and there is no agreement in sight. I need to change the custody agreement to me having primary custody with the ability to make any medical decisions without his consent if it's in the best interest of our children.
A: You need to either (1) come to an agreement with the other paent for a protocol or process to address and make decisions like this, e.g., sign an agreement to use a neutral parenting coordinator to act as intermediary to try and reach consensus, or agree to mandatory mediation sessions -- two sessions of up to 2 hours each, parties to split costs of mediator-- prior to going to court or prior to one parent exercising tie-breaker authority; or (2) file a motion for modification of custody and seek to be awarded the tie-breaker authority over these impasses. The court order might also incorporate some version of option 1 above. You can start with the motion to modify and settle at any time up until the court hearing. Court takes time, so you will not get an immediate order to address an immediate medical issue without filing the motion seeking emergency relief based on immediate and irreparable harm to your child if a decision is not made at once. You will need a lawyer for that. And it is not going to be cheap.
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