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Separated and Divorced Parents: Rights and Responsibilities

Pen with documents

The changes inherent in separation and divorce can have a dramatic effect on the entire family.  Communication regarding your child’s healthcare should be the priority.

It will be important for both parents, and your legal advisors, to clarify who will speak for your children. We will assume that both parents have legal custody of the children unless we receive an original court document to the contrary. When your child is a patient of our practice we each need to agree to a variety of expectations.

  • Your children are our top priority and we are responsible for providing high quality medical care to them.
  • We will assume that we are the sole primary care providers for your children. If there is another primary care physician responsible for the care of your children, you will be responsible for updating us, as well as the other physician, on your child’s medical condition.
  • We will assume that any medicines or treatments that we prescribe will be conveyed from one parent or legal guardian to another if the child’s care is moved from one home to another. We will also assume that the medication is given to the child as prescribed. Failure to do so may jeopardize your child’s health.
  • We cannot write for separate bottles of the same medication to be used at separate homes. Doing so may result in over dosage of the prescribed medications.
  • We cannot routinely plan to send our notes to additional physicians without the explicit request of the parent or legal guardian. If such a request is made you may be asked to sign a release of information form and you will be given a copy of the relevant medical notes. You will be responsible for their conveyance to the other primary care physician.
  • We will assume that information provided to us by the parent or legal guardian is correct and complete.
  • We will communicate our findings and formulate our recommended plans based upon the information that the parent or legal guardian provides to us.
  • We will communicate our findings and plans to the parent or legal guardian who is present in the office at the time of the office visit.
  • We cannot routinely contact any other parents or legal guardians not present at the time of the visit. We will depend upon the adult present with the child in the office to convey any information to all family members in need of that information.
  • Due to the volume of calls we receive daily, we are not able to contact any other parents or legal guardians when appointments are made. We depend on the adults to communicate with one another when appointments are made or cancelled.
  • If we are called by another parent or legal guardian after the visit, we will certainly make every attempt to contact that caller and answer their questions unless we are prohibited from doing so by court order. Given that such communication may take almost at much time as the original appointment, it may increase the charge for the appointment or may incur a separate, additional charge that may not be covered by insurance.
  • Any request for office notes, test results, immunizations or other records should be sent via your Keona Account.
  • We will honor requests for a copy of the medical record from the parent, legal guardian or an emancipated minor once a release of information form is signed. Request forms for a copy of your child’s chart can be found our website. We will process the request unless barred from doing so by court order or if barred from doing so by a patient who is an emancipated minor. Such requests will be processed within ten to fourteen working days.
  • We cannot guarantee that copies of the medical record will be free of all demographic information such as home phone number and address.
  • One parent or legal guardian will be designated as financially responsible for the costs of medical care at our office. If a guarantor is not designated, insurance policy holder will be designated. Failure of the responsible parent, or legal guardian, to pay us for our services may jeopardize our ability to care for your children.
  • We are available to provide medical care for your children but we are not in a position to provide legal advice. Child custody concerns must be directed to your attorney.
  • In situations where we are asked to appear in court on behalf of the child we will only do so in cases where we are ordered by the court in the form of an official subpoena. If asked to appear in court as an expert witness, we reserve the right to charge an hourly fee for our time spent away from patient care activities. This fee will be charged directly to the requesting attorney or the parent that the attorney represents.
  • Should you not be able to meet these expectations, we may ask that you find another practice that is a better fit for all parties involved.