Access to School and Medical Records by Noncustodial Parents
It’s not surprising that parents who are not together can have trouble working together on issues affecting their child. It is not uncommon for one parent to withhold information about the child from the other parent, usually the noncustodial parent. Withholding medical and school information has been such an problem that the legislature has deemed it necessary to pass laws stating that unless otherwise barred by law, a parent shall not be denied access to the academic or health records of that parent’s minor child unless otherwise ordered by the court for good cause shown or if a health care provider believes such access to medical records would be reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to the minor or another person.
Additional language in the Virginia Code under the education section reaffirms the legislature’s belief that all parents should have access to their child’s school records and further provides that either parent can designate in writing for a third-party, such as a step-parent or a therapist, to have access to the child’s school records.
Those are very strong words from the legislature that obviously felt compelled to pass laws requiring access to these vital records to enable both parents to be knowledgeable about their children. These laws are subject to abuse by enterprising parents to either deny access to or gain access to the records for nefarious reasons. Parents who seek to deny this vital information to their child’s other parent should do so with valid reasons which support the notion that it’s not in the child’s best interests for the access to the records be granted. Under the same line of reasoning, all parents who have access to a child’s medical or health record must exercise discretion to use the information obtained from these records for the best interests of their child.
If you need help with a Custody or Visitation case in Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, Fort Lee, Hopewell, Petersburg, Prince George, or Sussex. Give us a call at (804) 668-5327 and schedule a consultation to discuss potential solutions in more detail.