When Parents Disagree About Vaccination

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By: Bill Henry
PublishedMar 23, 2022
2 minute read

Divorced parents who share joint decision-making must agree on many important issues, including major medical decisions like vaccinations. The COVID-19 vaccine has intensified the vaccine debate, and plenty of divorced parents who at one time were aligned on vaccinations find themselves farther apart than ever before. So what happens when parents disagree about vaccination?

In this article, we talk about your options if you and your ex cannot agree on whether to have their children vaccinated as well as how the court handles these types of disputes.

When Parents Disagree About Vaccination

If you and your ex cannot come to an agreement on whether your child should get their childhood vaccines or other shots like the one for COVID-19, it’s important to find out your legal options with a Family Law Attorney. Call 303-688-0944 to begin your case assessment.


Legal Options When Parents Disagree About Vaccination

Consider Mediation

Before you get all fired up and threaten to take your ex to court, sit down with a family law attorney to talk about what you may be able to accomplish at mediation.

Mediation is a much more affordable dispute resolution tool than litigating the issue in court.

File a Post-Decree Modification

OK, this option is definitely the more expensive option. However, if negotiation talks prove fruitless, you may have to file a motion with the court for a post-decree modification.

How Courts Handle Vaccine Disagreements

Courts tend to defer to the parent who has decision-making. Obviously, though, in this case if you have sole decision-making authority, then there’s really not a problem. The court has given you charge over whether to vaccinate your kid.

In cases where parents disagree about vaccination and they have joint decision-making, the court tends to lean on medical experts. In this case, that person will likely be your child’s pediatrician. Often, the court will ask for his or her recommendation and make that the final order.

Tips About Vaccine Decision-Making with Your Ex

Consult Your Parenting Plan

When you got divorced, the court would have approved a parenting plan that outlines who has decision-making authority on these types of issues. If you share joint legal custody, then you and your ex will have to decide together if your kid gets vaccinated.

Talk to Your Ex About It

If it’s time for your child to get vaccines, whether that’s standard childhood shots or the COVID vaccine, it’s time for you to have a conversation with your ex. You may find out you’re on the same page.

Get Help for Your Custody Dispute

When you and your ex cannot agree on an important joint custody decision, like vaccinations, you have legal options. Our family law attorneys will help you decide which option is the best approach for your unique circumstances. Call 303-688-0944 to begin your case assessment.

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