Disclose MY Medical Records During Divorce?
Clients often ask “do I have to disclose MY medical records during divorce?” Many of them believe thatbecause this information is personal, private and possibly prejudicial, they can lock it up and throw away the key. In Arizona, there are many situations when you do not have to give this information to your soon-to-be ex.
However, if your case involves one of two issues, then you WILL have to hand over the goods.
Want to know what those issues are? Read on, my friend.
1. If your case involves custody, legal decision-making, or parenting time of your children, you will have to disclose your medical records.
If you and your spouse cannot agree about issues related to your children, you will have to disclose your medical records. Under Arizona’s legal decision-making (formerly custody) laws, in making decisions concerning the best interests of the children, the court must consider several factors.
Just a few of those factors are the physical, mental and emotional health of all persons involved. What is the best way for the court to judge your physical, mental and emotional health? You guessed it! The doctor’s reports (which can come of the form of testimony OR medical records).
2. If you are requesting spousal maintenance (alimony) and one of the reasons you are doing so is because of a documented medical condition, you will have to disclose the medical reports.
You are asking the other party to pay you money. You are asking the court to order the other party to pay you money. You are saying you have a medical condition that will prevent you from getting out there and earning your own money.
According to the law, you are going to have to prove your condition up. Arizona’s spousal maintenance statutes ALSO require the court to consider your physical and emotional condition. By making a claim for alimony because of your “condition,” you are opening the door WIDE open to any and all doctor’s reports related to your physical, mental and emotional health.
And what happens if you DON’T turn over your medical records or you refuse to do so?
I’m telling you now–don’t go there. It won’t be pretty. You will spend valuable time, energy and money fighting a losing battle. Ultimately, the court WILL order the disclosure of your records to the other party. As a result of your resistance, you might be ordered to pay your soon-to-be-ex’s attorney’s fees because of your unreasonableness.
Trust me, I’ve seen the attorney’s fees rack up on this very issue.
The amounts of money I’ve seen wasted have been enough to give the healthiest of people a heart attack.