How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35054
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Type Your Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

Hi, I have two step children aged 11 and 13 who are both suffering

This answer was rated:

Hi, I have two step children aged 11 and 13 who are both suffering from mental health issues. The youngest is being assessed for suicidal thoughts, depression, OCD and spectrum disorder but my husband and I have been denied access to her medical records by their mother (they were previously married so he has pr). The eldest has anorexia nervosa and is currently unable to attend school. We were only informed of the anorexia recently by a family member (as a result of gossip) even though it was diagnosed over 6 months ago and again we have no access to her medical records and have been excluded from all decisions around her treatment.
Despite having pr my husband has not been consulted on discipline, education or medical treatment and our access arrangement has dwindled over the years to being extremely irregular with the youngest now refusing to visit us at all.
We have just been informed by a friend that the mother's current relationship has failed and as a result she will have to move into rented accommodation and will probably put her in a tough financial position despite our maintenance payments.
We are extremely concerned about the mental health of the children with this change as well as that of the mother as she has a history of depression. We are also worried that the mental issues of the children may be endemic of a deeper problem with her ability to parent.
Do we have any rights in relation to accessing the medical records and what can we do if we don't think it is in the children's best interests for them to continue residing with their mother?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Are there any court orders in place regarding Residence and Contact?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No just the original arrangement for the children following the divorce in 2006. We have previously considered court action over access but we have tried to avoid this route for the sake of the children as they are both now saying that they do not want us to be involved in their education or medical treatment. The youngest also says that she hates her father and refuses to see him. This is primarily due to the fact that she has sent the children to private school against our wishes as we can't afford it. This has poisoned the children against us and she's told us that we haven't got any right to be involved as we aren't making a financial contribution.

Has your husband spoken to the School or the doctors?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, this our next step but we wanted to check our legal rights in requesting the information, especially as the children have asked that we don't have access and we want to take the correct approach. Once we have the school and medical records can we request that our permission is sought prior to any further decisions being made?

The children are both under 16 and your husband has Parental responsibility.
Accordingly both the School and the Doctors HAVE to share the information with him and he is entitled to be involved with any Social services intervention.
However whilst he can speak to them and demand to be kept updated it is not possible for him to insist on being involved in any decisions unless he makes an application to the court.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do know whether the school / doctors are obliged to tell the mother that we've requested the information? Thanks

They are not obliged to but I would expect them to do so and it cannot be prevented