Disputes with Your Ex Over COVID-19 Vaccinations for Your Children
The COVID-19 vaccine is rolling out faster than initially expected, meaning children could access the vaccination sooner than we know it.
This means co-parents should start discussing whether or not they want to vaccinate their children. While authorities are strongly encouraging Americans to get vaccinated, ultimately, the decision is up to parents and their children. Common concerns about the vaccine include its potential long-term side effects, reliability, and the expedited timeline for development. While these concerns are preventing some parents from vaccinating their kids, other parents are eager to give their children the COVID-19 vaccine.
When it comes to co-parenting, making decisions is not always a straightforward process. The pandemic is no exception. In fact, attorneys have seen an increase in the frequency and hostility of disputes between divorced parents. As such, we are bracing ourselves for the potential influx of legal disputes over whether or not children should get vaccinated.
If you and your ex-spouse can’t agree on vaccinating your children, you should look over your divorce decree and custodial orders to determine who has the decision-making power.
Co-parents who have sole legal custody have the exclusive legal authority to make major decisions regarding their children, including education, health, and religious upbringing. Thus, if your ex-spouse has sole legal custody, they can decide whether or not your children receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Parents who share joint legal custody of their children must both come to a mutual agreement on vaccinating their children. If you are for the vaccine but your former spouse is opposed to it, you should also consider reviewing your final divorce decree and custodial order to verify who can make the medical decisions for your children. If your ex has this power and you strongly oppose their stance on vaccinating your children, consider going to mediation before getting the court involved.
However, if mediation doesn’t work out, you should hire an attorney to get legal counsel on your next steps. While you may be eager to let a judge decide what happens, keep in mind that judges can’t require anyone to get vaccinated. Maybe they’ll defer you and your ex to a doctor or other professional to resolve your disagreement.
With this information in mind, we encourage you to talk to your ex-spouse about COVID-19 vaccines for your kids. Learn about their position on the matter and explain your viewpoint. If you can come to an agreement, great! If not, let our Dutchess County family attorneys know. When you do, we can hear your side of the story and work out a way to help you and your ex overcome your disputes.
Reach out at (845) 605-4330!