Exes need plan for medical emergencies

            Posted on August 14, 2016 

Exes need plan for kids’ medical emergencies

Q. I’m in the middle of negotiations with the father of my children. Besides child support, what terms and conditions should I be asking for?

A. This is the second in a series of articles about issues that could and probably should be in your parenting agreement to provide specificity and structure to “Joint Managing Conservators” (JMC). Last week, I covered a need for parentage testing and both JMCs’ rights to have full access to their child’s educational and health care records.

I left off at paragraph 1(a), which gave both JMCs' the right to their child’s medical and health care records by deeming the agreement sufficient for HIPPA- short for the government’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. In part, HIPPA requires strict rules about who can access a person’s medical records. Each hospital record-keeping office has developed its own HIPPA form. So if asked, it’s OK to sign that HIPPA form.

The start of Paragraph 1 reads: “(Each parent), as equal managing conservators of their (children) shall each have the following rights and duties:” I continue here, saying “each JMC shall have a right”:

(b) to be designated on all of the children’s records as a person who shall (i) be notified in case of any emergency; and (ii) in case of any emergency, shall have the right to consent to all dental, medical, and surgical procedures that may be needed due to an immediate danger to the health and safety of (children);

(c) in the event of an emergency involving an immediate danger to (children’s) health, safety, and welfare, (i) first, if there is sufficient time, each JMC shall contact the other JMC to collaborate to reach agreement on what should be done or consented to; (ii) in the event there is not sufficient time or you cannot reach the other JMC before an emergency decision is required, then to consent to any emergency dental, medical, or surgical treatment; and (iii) then, as quickly as reasonably possible, to inform the other JMC and if the other JMC is not then available, (A) to inform that JMC’s relatives he or she is in frequent contact with; closest to; and (B) to keep reaching out to the other JMC until contact has been made;

(d) to attend all (children’s) activities at or in connection with school, religious institution(s), so-called after-school, sports, sport-related activities, etc.;

(e) to solely manage the assets given to children) by a parent or a member of that parent’s family;

This is where I must stop. I have again run out of space before I ran out of things to say. Depending on one’s point of view, that is a curse or a cure. Or it is an updated version of Milton’s oxymoron - “darkness visible”. Or it may be better described by Dante as: “And so we came forth, and once again beheld the stars.”