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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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Can a non-custodial parent make healthcare decisions for a

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Can a non-custodial parent make healthcare decisions for a minor child and provide the custodial parents insurance information without their consent? Leaving the custodial parent paying for services they did not approve.

Good afternoon Darrin,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

The issue as regards XXXXX XXXXX may take the child to the doctor and incur medical expenses has nothing to do with who the primary custodial parent is. In fact, under ND law, in the majority of custody decisions---while there is usually a primary custodial parent appointed--and they get child support from the other parent, both parents are generally invested with legal custody, and it is the legal custody that allows the parent to take the child to a physician.

In rare circumstances, a court will order that absent an emergency situation, that one parent must obtain the permission of the other to take the child to a medical provider---but that instance is quite rare.

And if one parent is held to be responsible for all or part of medical expenses incurred by the child, there is no pre-approval process for that parent to participate in---again, unless there is such an order of the court---and the parent ordered to pay the medical expenses by the court would then have to pay the expenses not directly authorized by them---so long as the other parent presented the child for care.

And so yes, it is legal for the other parent to provide the insurance information that provides the medical coverage for the child---even if that coverage happens to be under the other parent's medical policy.

I wish you the best in 2013.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

You may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions.

Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided. Please understand that I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation.

Thank you,


LawTalk and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Doug to clarify my question the parent that brought the child in for services did not have legal custody so there was no joint or shared custody of any kind. Does that change or impact your opinion?

Good morning,


You additional facts are confusing. What do you mean that they did not have legal custody? What do you mean that there was no joint or shared custody at all? If they had no legal right to custody and visitation, and no parenting rights under the law, why was the child with them in the first place?

Are we talking about a father that was never married to the mother, and there was never a court order of support, custody or visitation?

Please explain.