Your medical records may contain very personal information that you are not comfortable sharing with others, but there are instances where you may need to share your records. If you are going through a divorce, and you are concerned that your spouse may use your physical or mental health history against you, it is highly recommended that you discuss your legal options with an experienced divorce lawyer who will protect your rights and recommend the best course of action.
Can I Refuse to Turn Over My Medical Records?
During the early stages of a divorce, you and your spouse will go through the discovery process, during which time you and your spouse may each request that the other party disclose certain information, including medical records. However, your spouse may not request copies of your medical records in an effort to embarrass you or expose a mental or physical health issue out of spite. If this is the case, your lawyer may obtain a protective order to prevent your medical records from being released or for the disclosure to be limited.
If you refuse to provide your medical records, your spouse’s attorney may file a motion to compel, or subpoena the doctor’s office. If your medical records have been released, your lawyer may obtain a confidentiality order that will ensure that only certain people may review your medical records and that none of the documents may be filed with the court except under seal. The order will also ensure that your medical records are returned when your divorce has been finalized, and that only a specified number of copies are made.
You may also have the opportunity to obtain the documents before your spouse has a chance to review them. If there are portions of the document that are particularly sensitive, and not relevant to the action, you may redact those portions.
What Factors Are Most Likely to be Impacted by My Medical Records?
For most couples, the most important issues that need to be resolved during a divorce involve child custody and spousal support. If your medical records are relevant to the case, they can have an impact on the outcome of support and custody proceedings in the following ways:
- Child custody: If your medical records suggest that you may not be able to properly care for your children, this can impact the outcome of your custody proceedings.
- Spousal support: If you are requesting spousal support, arguing that you are unable to work because of a medical condition or a chronic mental health issue, you may be required to release your medical records to show how your condition prevents you from being able to work and earn an income.
Whitehouse Station Divorce Lawyers at Tune Law Group, LLC Protect Clients’ Legal Rights During the Divorce Process
If you are going through a divorce, and you have been asked to release your medical records, do not hesitate to contact our skilled Whitehouse Station divorce lawyers at Tune Law Group, LLC. To schedule an initial consultation, call us today at 908-434-1061 or contact us online. Our office is located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, where we serve clients in and around Tewksbury, Hunterdon County, Monmouth County, Morris County, and Warren County.