California Family Code 6924

California Family Code 6924

California Family Code 6924 Attorney

The question of how much control minors should have over their personal healthcare has been a controversial topic of debate throughout the United States in recent years. California Family Code 6924 aims to ensure that minors who have been subjected to various types of abuse are able to secure the healthcare services they need, particularly mental health treatment. It’s vital to understand this Code section and how it could pertain to your situation.

California Family Code 6924

Important Elements of California Family Code 6924

It’s an unfortunate reality that many children throughout California are unable to receive medical treatment due to interference from their own parents and guardians. California Family Code 6924 not only ensures that a minor over the age of 12 is able to secure the mental health treatment they believe they require, but it also keeps the records of any such treatment entirely confidential. The purpose is to ensure parents and guardians cannot keep minors from receiving necessary care.

The provisions of California Family Code 6924 state that a child who is 12 years of age or older has the right to consent to outpatient mental health treatment services or residential shelter services under certain conditions. If a professional person attending to the minor believes the minor is able to intelligently agree to the requested services and that the minor would be a danger to themselves or others without those services, this Code section applies.

California Family Code 6924 also allows minors who are the victims of incest or child abuse to secure mental health treatment services with full confidentiality. The professional providing services is required to inform the child’s parents of the services unless, in their professional opinion, doing so would be potentially harmful to the child.

How California Family Code 6924 Could Apply to You

If you have a child custody agreement, it will stipulate legal custody rights for you and your co-parent. Most such orders entail joint legal custody, requiring co-parents to collaborate when it comes to making major decisions for their children. Some parents secure sole legal custody over their children. If you discover that your child has sought mental health care under California Family Code 6924, you are likely to have many questions.

An experienced family lawyer is the ideal resource to consult if you have difficult questions about a family court order, your custody order, or your minor child’s search for mental health treatment under California Family Code 6924. For example, if you share custody with a co-parent and you discover your child has sought mental health treatment because of abuse from the co-parent, it is understandable for you to want to remove the other parent’s custody rights immediately.

It is unfortunately common for children to suffer abuse from their own parents and guardians, and even more unfortunately, some parents are completely unaware of what is happening to their child because the child is too scared to talk about these things. When you have discovered that your child has invoked California Family Code 6924, an experienced child custody lawyer is the ideal asset to consult.

The attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, have successfully resolved many complex child custody cases, including those involving abuse, and we can review the details of your situation to help you understand your most viable legal options for resolving the issue.


Q: What Is California Family Code 6924?

A: California Family Code 6924 pertains to access to mental health treatment for minors over the age of 12, allowing them to seek mental health services regardless of whether their parents participate in or approve of these services. Certain conditions must be met, but the primary reason for this law to exist is to ensure that a child who is mature enough to make such a decision is able to do so without interference from their parent.

Q: Do I Need the Other Parent’s Permission to Take My Child to Counseling?

A: You may need the other parent’s permission to take your child to counseling in California based on the terms of your custody order. If you have sole legal custody of your child, then no, you likely do not need the other parent’s permission. However, if your custody order stipulates that you and your co-parent must agree to major decisions for your child, you would need to have the other parent’s consent unless California Family Code 6924 applies to your child.

Q: Can a Parent Be Excluded From Their Child’s Mental Health Treatment?

A: A parent could be excluded from participating in their child’s mental health treatment under California Family Code 6924 if, in the professional opinion of the doctor treating the child, such involvement would be detrimental to the child’s health and/or safety. However, a parent who is not involved in any services provided under California Family Code 6924 is also not liable for payment for any such services.

Q: Can I Change a Custody Order?

A: Yes, it is possible for you to change a custody order, but you would need to prove that the proposed change would suit the child’s best interests more fully than the current terms of the order. For example, if you are a noncustodial parent and discover your child sought mental health services under California Family Code 6924 because of abuse from the custodial parent, it could form grounds for a modification petition.

Q: At What Age Can a Child Make Their Own Health Decisions?

A: In California, it is possible for a child who is at least 12 years old to make healthcare decisions for themselves under certain conditions. Healthcare providers must maintain confidentiality for these decisions as well, and they are not obligated to share a child’s medical records with a parent without the child’s consent. Generally, this rule applies to medical care for abortion, sexual assault treatment, rape treatment, and care related to abuse or neglect.

California Family Code 6924 intends to preserve the rights of minors who may have experienced abuse from their own parents, providing them with the flexibility to make important healthcare decisions and seek mental health services they believe to be necessary. If you have questions about California Family Code 6924 as it pertains to your child and/or your custody order, contact Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, today and schedule a consultation with our team.

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