A Legacy of Justice. A History of Success. Proud to Serve as Clarksville's Attorneys Since 1929

Noncustodial parent rights regarding children’s medical records

When parents in Clarksville divorce, the care and concern that each feels towards their kids may remain unchanged. However, their new circumstances may make remaining involved in every aspect of their children’s lives more difficult. The hope is that divorced parents may be able to put aside any differences or disagreements they may have to attempt to make important decisions regarding their children together. Yet if a significant amount of acrimony and animosity still exists between them, efforts may be made by both to exclude the other whenever possible.

One of the most important areas in which a parent should be involved in a child’s life is in regards to his or her healthcare. Children from divorced families may often require extra care, at least according to information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their numbers show that children living with legal guardians or in single-parent homes are almost twice as likely to be classified as being in only fair or poor health compared to those living with both of their parents. When custodial parents take their children in for treatment, the temptation may exist for them to only share as much information regarding such care with the noncustodial parent as they see fit.

Tennessee law, however, protects the rights of noncustodial parents to know what kind of care their kids are receiving. The state’s annotated code shows that a treating provider or facility must provide a noncustodial parent access to his or her children’s medical record upon request. The same is true if, in cases involving joint custody, the parent with whom the children are not residing requests it. The only exception to this law is if the court has closed the kids’ medical records in the belief that doing so protects their best interests.