Surgery Without One Parent’s Consent


I have a shared parenting agreement with my ex-wife who recently decided to have surgery performed on our 6-year-old son without my consent.

In our divorce decree it says that unless it is an emergency, it needs to be discussed and if we don’t agree then it needs to go through mediation.

 Is she allowed to do that? Doesn’t the doctor need my consent to perform the surgery? Isn’t she in contempt? 


I do not practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of that state and can only provide you with general tips on divorce and family law.

The language contained within the decree or dissolution and/or the joint parenting plan contained therein will determine whether or not she has violated the court’s order.

However, in the case of surgery, I would imagine that she would state that it was in the child’s best interest and that she was unaware of your disagreement with the decision.

Furthermore, in a contempt proceeding, you would be asking the court for some form of relief.  Here, it sounds like the surgery has already been done, so I am unsure of what you could be asking the court to do in order to remedy the situation.

If this is going to be a continuing problem that you have serious concerns with, perhaps a motion to modify the parenting agreement or a motion to clarify might be more appropriate.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your specific case.


To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Illinois divorce lawyer Christina M. Milien, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Surgery Without One Parent’s Consent

    I had by-pass heart surgery after my divorce and lost everything. I’m a self employed real estate appraiser. Since then, my ex of 30 years is suing me for contempt for not fulfilling my secondary educ. cost for my daughter. Do I have any grounds to stand on in reversing this. Fact is I never missed one child support payment in the 4 years after our divorce, but I have suffered both financially and physically since my surgery. I just turned 65 and am at square one again.

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