Optional Medication?

We have joint legal custody of our 3 boys, they do live primarily with their mother but in the separation agreement is worded as “joint legal”.

Recently the mother put the youngest child (age 9) on ADD meds. She did this with out consulting the father and letting him know that he was going to be put on these meds, much less the monthly cost we would incur.

My question is this: Since joint legal custody reads as “Joint legal custody allows for joint decision making with each parent having an equal voice concerning the child’s best interests.” and we were not notified or consulted in this decision and furthermore do not agree with him being on these meds do we have a right to disagree & not pay the co-pay she is demanding of us?

Thank you for your time & we appreciate your reply!

The mother is in contempt of the Order requiring joint consultation on issues concerning the child’s best interests. I would suggest you file a motion with the court to have her held in contempt.

The separation papers state that we are to pay 1/2 of the meds for all of the children that are not covered by insurance. Would we still be required to pay the co-pay even though she was in contempt of the papers by not notifying us to begin with? Or would we be in contempt also by not paying what the papers state?

We just want to make sure our bases are covered before we present her with all of this.

Thank you again for your reply & help!

My apologies, I though that custody was spelled out in a court order. If custody and support are in a separation agreement your remedy is to file an action for breach to bring her in compliance with the terms of the agreement.

Based on your other posts, I would suggest that you simply file an original action for child custody with the court since you are seeking a change in the custodial arrangement as well.

Financially we can’t afford to take her to court, this is kind of where our problem lies. She gets the majority of the fathers check and expects us to pay extra on top of that so our money is astronomically tight.

We are trying to find suitable options to present to the mother with out dragging the children through the court system.

We feel that we are being taken advantage of by the mother and were seeking direction from you about our options. (and thank you tremendously for it!)

The custody & child support was set up in a separation agreement; you mention that she is in contempt of this agreement by not seeking the fathers opinion on the ADD meds, would we also be in contempt of the same agreement if we chose not to pay based on her contempt to begin with?

The father pays for all of the children’s health & dental insurance and it is noted in the papers that he is responsible for 1/2 of the uncovered meds; however we were never presented with this situation and are now EXPECTED to pay for something that we don’t agree with and the child does not need.

When issues are outlined in an Agreement rather than a court order, a person in violation of the terms is in breach of contract. Contempt arises only in situations where there is a court order.

If you refuse to pay for the meds the mother could file an action for breach of contract and you could file a counterclaim for her breach regarding the decision making process.

Thanks for the clairfication! I appreciate all of your help!

[quote=“Erin Clarey”]

If you refuse to pay for the meds the mother could file an action for breach of contract and you could file a counterclaim for her breach regarding the decision making process.[/quote]

Can you tell me what would happen if this would to be taken to court? What would the judge ‘see’? Would they see her inital breach or us failing to pay? What would weigh heavier?

I cannot predict what the judge would do in any case. It would depend on all the evidence presented from both sides.

I understand.