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Medical Record Access in Divorce: What You Can Expect

In any divorce, both spouses will be asked to provide a range of documents; generally, these are related to finances and property, and they are used to determine a fair and equitable division of assets.

In some cases, however, parties may request each other’s medical records. There can be several reasons why one may seek that information, but not all of them have valid legal standing, such as a spouse trying to embarrass or otherwise harass you in some way.

However, there may be completely legitimate and legal reasons why a spouse wants your medical records, so it is important to understand what these circumstances may entail and what your legal obligation is when it comes to providing access to your medical records during them.

Valid Requests for Medical Records

There are a couple of instances in which your spouse may have the legal standing to request your medical records.

If, for example, you have a disability that makes it impossible to work and you’re seeking spousal support, you may be asked to provide proof in the form of your medical records. If you have children together, one spouse may seek information regarding the other’s ability to care for them if the other spouse has a known medical condition or disability.

No one is required to provide access to their medical information upon first being asked, but the requesting party could seek a co Edit date and time urt order that forces the other party to relinquish their records.


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is designed to protect private health information. Under the law, you may access your own health information and decide who else has access, such as family members and your various medical providers. With that in mind, you might allow your spouse access, which is something you can revoke at any time.

Your healthcare providers cannot legally release your private health information to any third party without your consent; however, if a judge rules that specific information must be released to your spouse during a divorce, medical providers must comply, despite your wishes.

Accessing Children’s Medical Records

When a divorce results in some form of joint custody, both parents typically retain the right to access children’s medical records and make decisions regarding the health of their kids, including medical decisions.

In the event that one parent is given total legal custody of the children, they’ll have the sole authority to make medical and other important decisions, but both parents will still have access to the children’s educational and medical records.

In cases where a non-custodial parent doesn’t agree with the custodial parent’s medical choices for their child, they may take their opposition clear to the court and ask a judge to decide on the matter. With that said, there are some instances in which a non-custodial parent may lose the right to access children’s medical records, such as if a protective order is issued.

Skilled Legal Assistance for Family Law Troubles

If you are concerned about protecting your or your children’s medical records during and after a divorce, contact the experienced team at Gucciardo Family Law to schedule a free consultation and learn more about legal services that meet your needs.

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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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