With the end of the school year upon us, it makes sense to talk about one of the things about which divorced and divorcing parents often disagree. Access to school and health records is often a hot topic among divorcing parents because those records contain important information that parents use while making educational and medical decisions about their children.
It would make sense that both of a child’s parents should have access to school and health records because they contain important information that parents should know about their children. Unfortunately, even in situations where there is joint legal custody, some parents (often custodial parents) believe that they can restrict the other parent’s access to this information. The rights of noncustodial parents to their children’s school and health records are protected by both state and federal laws, so it is important to take appropriate steps to preserve and enforce these rights.
Sometimes, schools have policies regarding access to records that may make it difficult for a noncustodial parent to obtain them. Parents can avoid this by making sure that their custody agreement, parenting plan, and divorce judgment specify that both parents may have access to the children’s school and medical records. This allows a parent to provide the final divorce decree and other documents to the school or medical facility as evidence that the non-custodial parent may access the records for his or her child. Even if the parent does not provide the decree to the school in advance of seeking access to the records, either parent can show those documents to the school if they encounter difficulties in gaining access to the records that he or she is requesting.
In some situations, the language of the custody agreement and court order do not contain specific enough language, which may lead a school official to hesitate in turning over specific records or denying access altogether. In other words, you may have to go to court and ask the judge to order that the records be given to you. A New Jersey divorce attorney can help you pursue this type of action; however, it is best if you consult a skilled New Jersey family law attorney initially so that you can take steps to preserve your parental rights without having to pursue additional legal actions.
The Bronzino Law Firm: Helping Divorced Parents with Parenting Concerns
Parenting is always challenging; parenting through a divorce and after a divorce can be even more challenging. Obtaining access to school and health records should not be difficult, but in some cases schools and doctors’ offices refuse to deal with more than one parent unless convinced that the law requires this cooperation. If you are having trouble getting access to the information that you need, an experienced New Jersey Family Law Attorney may be able to help you. The Bronzino Law Firm, located in Brick, New Jersey, serves clients throughout Ocean County, Monmouth County, and the surrounding area. To learn more about how we can help you with school records, health records, or any other matter related to your New Jersey divorce, please contact our office for a free initial consultation. We can be reached locally at (732) 812-3102.