Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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Minnesota mom's child custody in jeopardy over medical decisions

Parenting is not easy. It becomes even more difficult when a young child is forced to endure cancer. Parents put in such a situation must make numerous difficult decisions. To complicate the matter further, these decisions may cost the parent custody of their child.

A Minnesota mother recently ceded to the state's wishes that her daughter undergo chemotherapy in order to maintain custody of her child. According to reports, the girl had a tumor removed and her mother believed the risk of cancer was eliminated. Doctors believed otherwise, however, stressing that further chemo was necessary to alleviate the risk of a recurrence. This standoff resulted in threats from state authorities that the woman's child custody would be terminated if she refused to provide her daughter care.

Similar examples can be found all over the country. Though rare, many parents struggle with what to do under such stressful circumstances. While a disagreement with a state may result in rare instances when one's religious code forbids modern medicine, disagreements among separated spouses can also occur.

Settling on parenting time after a relocation is often times a very difficult process for parents. But, deciding where a child will be cared for and what medical choices are to be made can be even more challenging.

Local St. Paul attorneys recognize the difficulty these situations can present. They not only work such contingencies into divorce settlements, but also coach parents through disagreements in medical care that actually do arise. Specific laws apply to these situations and only experienced professionals know how to use this forum to advocate for a parent's rights and the best interests of the children.

Source: ABC 5 News, "MN Mom Risked Losing Custody of Child over Forced Chemo," Cassie Hart, Aug. 31, 2013

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