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Legal Information: Virginia


December 4, 2020

Can a parent who does not have custody have access to the child's records?

Generally, either parent (regardless of whether or not s/he has custody) can have access to the minor child’s academic or health records, unless a court decides there is good cause to deny a parent access to those records.1 A history of family abuse may qualify as good cause.2

In addition, the child’s doctor, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker can deny a parent’s request to see the child’s health records if s/he feels that there is a good chance the child or another person will be substantially harmed by allowing that parent to see the records. The parent who is denied access can have this decision reviewed and possibly overturned by another doctor, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker with similar training and experience at his/her own expense.3

1 Va. Code § 20-124.6(A)
2 See, for example, L.C.S. v. A.C.S., 453 S.E.2d 580 (Va. App. 1995)
3 Va. Code §§ 20-124.6(B); 32.1-127.1:03