COVID Vaccine Considerations for Divorced & Separated Parents

January 18, 2021 | Bill Henry

As the COVID vaccine continues to roll out, parents will have to decide whether it should be administered to their children. That decision can get more complex if you’re a divorced or separated parent.

What should you do if you and your ex disagree? Is there anything you can do if your ex has sole decision-making?

Family law attorney shares some important considerations about the COVID vaccine if you’re divorced or separated with children.

Questions About the COVID Vaccine & Your Child?

If you’re at odds with your ex about whether your child should get the COVID vaccine, a member of our Family Law Team can discuss your legal options with you. Call 303-688-0944 to begin your free case assessment. 

If you’ve thought about having your child vaccinated, have you considered whether your ex will be on board? Here are a few things you should think about before you have your children vaccinated for COVID.

COVID Vaccine: Divorced & Separated Parents

A lot depends on where you are in your divorce proceedings. If you have a final divorce decree in hand, the court has already finalized how you and your ex will make decisions about your child’s wellbeing.

If you’re going through a divorce now, has the court established temporary orders? If so, you’ll want to refer to those regarding decision-making. If there are no temporary orders at this time, it’s best to talk to your lawyer before you proceed with vaccinating your child, particularly if your child’s other parent has expressed his or her objection.

If You’re Divorced

Have a Discussion with Your Ex

In addition to the divorce decree, consider having a conversation with your ex to determine whether he or she is on board with vaccination. The two of you may be in agreement without having to refer to the divorce decree.

If there is a Dispute

You have legal options. Mediation is an option. However, it may be necessary to motion the court for a post-decree modification.

If You Have to Go to Court

What Matters (and doesn’t) to the Court
Personal Opinions, Political Leanings & Religious Beliefs

The court cares most about what is best for your children, and that encompasses their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.

This may sound harsh, but the court will not give much weight to your personal opinions or beliefs in regards to your being pro-vaccination or anti-vaccination.

The court also does not care about your political beliefs regarding COVID restrictions – unless you are being reckless and putting your child in harm’s way.

The court considers religious beliefs, so you can present them to the judge through personal testimony and expert witnesses. Just know that the best interest of your child is paramount to the court.

Physician Recommendations 

A medical recommendation from your child’s pediatrician or other medical specialist will help you sustain your claim since the court looks after the best interest of the child.

How Custody is Shared

The court also wants to know how much time you spend with your child. Are you the primary parent, or are you the secondary parent?

Normally, the court heavily relies on testimony if you are the primary parent taking care of the child’s day-to-day activities.

Schedule a Free Case Assessment

If you’d like to discuss your legal options, call 303-688-0944 to start a free case assessment.

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