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Access to Children’s records under Wisconsin’s custody laws

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If you get divorced in Wisconsin and the other parent has custody, are you foreclosed from receiving copies of your children’s medical, dental and school records? The answer lies at sec. 767.41 (7) of the Wisconsin Statutes;
(7) ACCESS TO RECORDS. (a) Except under par. (b), or unless otherwise ordered by the court, access to a child’s medical, dental and school records is available to a parent regardless of whether the parent has legal custody of the child.

Absent a court order to the contrary, whether a parent has sole legal custody or joint legal custody, doesn’t change the entitlement to have access to all of the child’s pertinent medical records, dental records and of course, school records. The sole custodial parent cannot prevent the other parent from coming to school events, extra-curricular activities, teacher conferences, medical appointments, dental appointments, therapy appointments, even where one parent has legal sole custody to make decisions on major decisions affecting the child’s upbringing. Being a sole custodial parent doesn’t mean the other parent is blocked out of the child’s life forever. What it does mean, is that there is some impairment to the parties being able to talk and agree on major decisions involving the child, and the court has seen it as appropriate, rather than the parties fighting and arguing or being unable at all to communicate, to permit one parent to make those decisions for the child. It doesn’t however, translate to the right to cut the other parent out of the child’s life forever or to undercut and underplay the significance of the other parent in the child’s life.

If you have questions about custody and placement, feel free to call one of our experienced family lawyers at Karp & Iancu, S.C. today.

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