When a parent does not have custody of their child, the custodian of the child can sometimes manipulate other people into believing that the non-custodial parent cannot be involved in certain ways. A common example of this is access to a child’s medical and school records.
Do I have a right to view my child’s medical and school records?
Under Ohio law, a parent has equal access to all records that would otherwise be available to the other parent unless otherwise ordered by the court. In general, a non-custodial parent has every right to access medical and school records as the custodial parent do. So long as there is not a court order saying otherwise, a record keeper may not deny this information to either parent and may be subject to contempt of court if they do refuse to provide this information.
What do I do if the record holder will not turn over the records?
As stated above, a record keeper can be held in contempt if they knowingly refuse to comply with this law. However, the issue may be the custodial parent’s communication with the record keeper. In some cases, the custodial parent will do everything in their power to exert control over the situation, including telling record keepers that the non-custodial parent may not have access to a child’s records. Custodial parents that are feeling vengeful can create difficulties for the non-custodial parent.
If you find yourself in this situation, begin by showing the record keeper a copy of the court order for the child and direct them to any provisions that say there is equal access to records. If this is not enough, you should get your attorney to speak to the relevant parties. Your last resort is to file contempt, usually against the custodian for failing to follow the provisions in the Court order.
The equal access law can be found in Ohio Revised Code 3109.051(H).