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Both parents have the right to see a child’s records post-divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Family Law

A Virginia divorce can be difficult for everyone involved, but particularly for children. Child custody and visitation are common topics for dispute as the case moves forward. However, even after the divorce is finalized, custody is decided upon and a parenting time schedule is created, disagreements can still arise.

Parents need to work together to oversee the child’s care, education and upbringing. One issue that is a fundamental part of that and can be problematic is the sharing of a child’s records. In cases where the parents’ relationship is not especially strong and there are lingering negative feelings from the marriage, they might make things difficult when information is to be shared. For both parents and the child, it is imperative to understand the law for access to the child’s records.

Parents must be granted access to a child’s records

Independent of the custody agreement, a parent generally cannot be denied access to the child’s records. That includes records pertaining to their health, schooling, day care and any other information. The court has the right to decide not to grant a parent access to those records, but it can be only done based on good cause.

With health records, it is possible that access to them will be denied. This hinges on assessments, judgment and recommendations from a treating professional such as a physician, a psychologist, a social worker or a professional counselor. The criteria for refusing to provide the information is if there is a belief that the child could be harmed by sharing it. The parents can ask that the denial be reviewed so they can have access to the records.

Co-parenting generally requires fully disclosed information

The parents need to focus on the child’s best interests and make sure they are served. That includes furnishing the child’s records when asked to do so by the other parent. Still, there are situations where the denial is justified. For parents who are in the middle of a disagreement over the child’s records, it is vital to be aware of how this is addressed as part of a family law case.