Advice from someone who has been in your shoes
  Search entire web
Supervised Visitation Directory
Return to list of questions Return to topic groups
Noncustodial father wants to know how to force mother to get medical treatment for child

Your Question:
I've been divorced for 10 years now and their mother has had sole custody from the start. We have three beautiful daughters 16, 15 and 13 for the most part everything has been good, until recently. about two years ago one of my daughters was diagnosed with Scoliosis and prescribed a back brace. her mother never enforced the wearing of the brace due to the battles child would give. and now her spine curvature is apparently beyond bracing, she has been told that spine surgery must be performed inorder to help correct the issue. now recently my health care policy changed and the Dr she originally was using is not on the policy and she has to start over.

My concern is that she was negligent in doing the right thing in the first place and she is now procrastinating getting thing rolling again. is there anything I can do to get the courts involved in the child's medical needs.

Custody and visitation problems? We can help. can help you win custody, change custody, or reduce child support. Recommended by mediators and therapists and used every day by thousands of parents and families worldwide.

My Answer:

Sorry to hear of your kid's scoliosis.

You can get orders that require each parent to expeditiously attain the medical attention the child needs.

That said, I don't think you have much of a case for the negligence you attribute to the mother unless you're a physician who has expertise in spinal disorders.

You'd have to convince a court that ONLY because of not wearing the back brace has the condition risen to the current level. In order to do that, you'd need experts to testify, including the doctor who monitored her deterioration.

I'm no doctor, but it's my guess that plenty of people with scoliosis may wear a back brace daily and still require surgery later.

So... I'd suggest you do the groundwork for what it takes to get the ball rolling. Find the doctor, learn about the procedure, etc.

Once you've done that (if you haven't already), then write the mother a note sent by email and certified mail. Provide her with all the insurance details and procedure details. Let her know you hope she'll take action to help daughter within 30 days.

On day 31, if mother hasn't made an appointment or anything, file a motion, asking the court to do one of the following: 1. Make orders requiring both parents to follow physician's recommendation on treating the scoliosis in the recommended timeframe; or 2. Give dad custody of the child with scoliosis so dad can ensure appropriate treatment is provided.

It's likely that mom will take appropriate action rather than argue about it in court.


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

© 2005 ~ 2012 All Rights Reserved.