I'm going through a divorce and have no temporary order for parenting plan. I spend 5 overnights every 2 weeks with my kids. They have been diagnosed as autistic and while they received intensive therapy when they were younger, they do not receive any therapy for that condition any longer.
My wife keeps signing my kids up for all kids of therapies and appointments for physical therapy and other things. Besides the fact that it's expensive and time consuming to just take kids to see therapists for little effect, I'm worried that she's adding on the therapies the kids are involved in just to inflate costs that I pay the majority for.
I don't want my kids signed up for every therapy because we can't spend the time and money doing this. I want to have evaluations from anyone being considered as a provider as to what goals are being worked on and how it will impact my child if the therapy is not done. I want to agree with any continuing therapy that's going on, and have it evaluated on a regular basis to see what impact it's having. If I don't get these things, I don't want my child to do it. Am I able to say this and ask for a court order to enforce it?
Until there is a temporary parenting plan ordering it, there is no joint decision-making to enforce, so you need to get a temporary parenting plan that addresses this. If joint decision-making is ordered, then neither parent is supposed to authorize any treatment without the other parent's consent. Any time health care intervention is needed, the parents should discuss it and come to an agreement about the best course of action (in your case, you would insist upon evaluations to determine the right therapy). If an agreement can't be reached, the alternative dispute resolution provision of the parenting plan would be invoked. Often this is mediation, but in your case arbitration might make sense - having a neutral third party evaluate both of your arguments, and making a decision about what is best for the children. If no agreement can be reached in mediation, or if a parent disagrees with the arbitration decision, it can go to the court to decide. With temporary orders, though, it can be a bit different, since you have trial coming up...if there is such a level of disagreement about health care just in the 11 months the case is pending, the court is likely to be concerned about that continuing to happen until the kids turn 18, and may find that it is in the children's best interests to have one parent make the decisions so that disputes between the parents don't unreasonably delay the children's treatment. Generally that defaults to the primary residential parent as a practical matter. You should talk to a family law attorney about the best way to make your case for the care you think is appropriate.
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"Joint decision making" is not well defined and it would appear from your statement that it would be a bad idea to try it. You should probably retain an attorney and specifically request the details and particulars you want in your parenting plan.
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You should immediately consult with an experienced family law attorney about getting a Temporary Parenting Plan. It certainly sounds like your spouse is putting the kids into treatment which is not needed, and avoiding treatment which is needed for their autism. Joint decision making is probably best for the kids, but other issues should also be considered by the Court. See my AVVO Legal Guides on parenting plans, Temporary Orders, and decision making.
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