When co-parents fail to dispense medications

When the future of co-parenting with a difficult person is uncertain, it is always a good idea to make good records and keep notes in a diary about visitations, medications and similar concerns because those notes may be necessary later.

A tale too commonly reported to family law attorneys: I am the primary custodial parent and my ex-husband has regular visitation. Our son has several prescribed medications he must take and his father refuses to make him take his meds. He drops my son off at the end of the weekend with some of the meds used and some still in the separated pill containers, marked for the various days and times. My son is frequently too sick to go to school and misses Mondays. My ex keeps saying that our son is not sick and that he does better without all the medications. What can I do to force my son's father to make our son take the medications he is prescribed?

Children are prescribed a variety of medications

It is not uncommon in current times for children to take a variety of prescribed medications. Nowadays, doctors are writing prescriptions for children much younger than was common is years passed. Kids may be prescribed pills for anxiety, mood disorders and attention deficit disorders. These types of medications can be the source of disagreement among co-parents, as opposed to medications prescribed to treat more biological ailments and diseases like childhood leukemia and cancers.

When a child is prescribed a medication, or a combination thereof, there can be negative consequences when pills are not taken correctly. Uncontrolled withdrawal of medications not under the supervision of a doctor is also a legitimate concern.

Refusing to give or make the child take medications can be a passive aggressive move

Dad might assume that mom is nuts and his son does not need to take all these medications. While dad may be entitled to his opinions, he may not be entitled to decide whether to disrupt his child's medication schedule, depending on the divorce decree and language controlling which parent or both may make medical decisions in the child's best interests.

While one parent might disagree about what a child needs and whether certain medications are in their best interests, there might be an ulterior motive. Unfortunately, some people may make decisions during their parenting time that they know will upset and enrage the other parent. In any case, using a child to get back at an ex-spouse is a terrible thing to do.

Seeking the power of the court to compel a co-parent to administer proper medications

In the event a co-parent is not following instructions regarding children's' medications during periods of visitation there may be several options. If there is no current court order or language in a parenting plan about medication, you can ask the court to make an order regarding rules for medication administration during visitation. If you already have such an order or language that your ex is ignoring, an enforcement proceeding and potential finding of contempt of court may help your situation.

When the future of co-parenting with a difficult person is uncertain, it is always a good idea to make good records and keep notes in a diary about visitations, medications and similar concerns because those notes may be necessary later.

About Scroggins Family Law: Dallas, Collin and Denton County Board Certified divorce and family law attorney Mark Scroggins, and the team at Scroggins Family Law represent clients in a variety of divorce and family law matters.

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