Mississippi Divorce Attorney Talks about Access to Your Children’s Records

There are many opportunities for conflict between any two divorcing parties, and parents are no different. One area which can be difficult for some parents to navigate is the issue of access to the children’s school records and their health care records. These records contain important information that parents need, in order to make decisions that will serve the best interests of their children.

Since school and health records contain important information that parents should know about their children, it makes sense that both of a child’s parents should have access to them. The State of Mississippi agrees, providing statutory support for the rights of both parents to have free access to school and health records regardless of how they share parenting time and parental decision making authority. Some parents believe that they have a right to exclusive access to their children’s records, but fortunately, Mississippi law says otherwise. § 93­5­26  of the Mississippi Code Annotated provides that, “Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, except those provisions protecting the confidentiality of adoption records and except for cases in which parental rights have been legally terminated, access to records and information pertaining to a minor child, including but not limited to medical, dental and school records, shall not be denied to a parent because the parent is not the child’s custodial parent if such parent’s parental rights have not been terminated by adoption or by a termination of parental rights proceeding.”

Of course, being able to obtain information about your child’s education and health is just that, obtaining the information. What you do with the information that you receive is a different matter. It is possible that you may begin receiving regular reports on your children’s academic progress and their health care. It is also possible that all of your children may be healthy, and they may all be doing just fine at school. Of course, it is also possible that one or more of the children may have health concerns that require treatment or that one or more of the children are having some sort of difficulty at school. When it comes to what each parent can do to address the issues that inevitably arise as part of parenting their children, let your parenting plan be your guide.

If you are involved in a divorce and you do not yet have a parenting plan, make sure that when you do work on creating one, you include specific information about how major parenting decisions like those involved in your children’s education or medical care and treatment will be addressed. It is important for parents to understand that decision-making authority is a separate item from parenting time, so full authority to make decisions regarding health care and education does not automatically lie with the parent who has the children more of the time. Parents are free to decide how they apportion decision-making authority. Many parents choose to share the decision-making authority on these issues, and their parenting plans reflect that choice.

If you have a question about access to school and health records or how to address major decisions in your parenting plan, please contact Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free, initial consultation.

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Mississippi Divorce Attorney Talks about Access to Your Children’s Records
Mississippi Divorce Attorney discuss access to children's records.