New York state Mother and Father, a medical doctor / psychiatrist, have a Daughter together.
But mother has sole custody of Daughter.
Under New York law, that means that Mother, in general, has sole medical decision-making authority for Daughter.
During timesharing with Daughter, Father adjusts Daughter’s dosage of medication downward.
Father “concluded that the treatment regimen prescribed by his daughter’s doctor was too aggressive and the prescription strengths were too powerful.”
Mother initiates a contempt proceeding against Father for unilaterally adjusting Daughter’s medication.
The Court dismisses the Mother’s motion, finding that the Father has a “good faith basis” for adjusting Daughter’s medication dosage and, therefore, is not guilty of criminal or civil contempt, or willful defiance of Mother’s or her doctor’s court-ordered authority.
The Court also finds that Father’s status as non-custodial parent is not tantamount to being a “potted plant”.
Rather, a timesharing parent “has a residual authority to make decisions in the child’s best interest that are called for by the immediate circumstances–even if those decisions might overlap with or intrude upon the other parent’s ‘sole custody’ authority.”