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Subpoenaing Medical Records in a Custody Dispute in California



Doctor-Patient Privilege in Orange County Custody Disputes

Sometimes during a divorce, one parent wants access to the other parent’s medical records to show that the other parent is unfit to raise the minor children. The request for records can include not only medical records, but also a request for therapy session records. The difficulty lies, however, in the fact that both the doctor's records and the therapist's records are protected by the doctor-patient privilege. If the parent holding the privilege does not waive the doctor-patient privilege or put his or her mental status “at issue,” the court will usually not order the medical records to be released. The privilege can only be waived by the party holding the privilege. If it is not waived, then the other parent cannot get access to the records.

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