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Custody issues can interfere with healthcare for the children

Many Pennsylvania parents willingly put aside their differences when it comes to their children's health. For some, however, it is nearly impossible to get past the couple's issues in order to focus on the children. It is in this situation that custody issues can seep into the pediatrician's office.

It may be tempting to launch into a diatribe regarding the other parent's failings while in a pediatrician's office. Unfortunately, this usually has little to nothing to do with the reason the child is at the doctor's office in the first place. No one is advocating for divorced parents to be friends -- civility would suffice, so long as the focus remains on the child and his or her medical needs.

A growing number of divorced Pennsylvania parents are successful at putting their own differences aside in order to remain involved and engaged in their children's lives. Couples even attend a child's appointment together and make decisions regarding the child's health in a manner that best benefits the child. Many parents would not consider any other option.

However, one pediatrician can vouch for the fact that some parents remain angry with their ex-spouses long after the divorce is final. That anger can sometimes interfere with the child's medical care. He claims that a father once insisted the physician not prescribe an inhaler for his child's asthma just it was because his ex-wife that took the child to see the doctor.

Ultimately, the child suffers the most when the parents are unable to get along. It may be possible to avoid at least some of these conflicts by clearly outlining each parent's role when it comes to medical care for the children post-divorce. This can be done within the actual child custody agreement negotiated during the divorce proceedings. If each parent agrees to abide by a certain set of rules when it comes to decision making regarding the children, it may lessen the amount of conflict in the future.

Source: The Daily Beast, Pediatrician: Don't Make Your Kid's Healthcare a Proxy in Your Divorce Battles, Russell Saunders, Feb. 14, 2014

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