A healthcare worker in blue scrubs and a surgical mask holding a covid-19 vaccine syringe, focused on preparing the dose in a clinical setting.

What happens when divorced parents disagree about giving their child the Covid-19 vaccine?

Conversations between co-parents regarding the possibility of vaccinating their children have increased following the FBA’s latest approvable of the emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15. If you and your former spouse are having trouble coming to an agreement regarding the choice to vaccinate or not vaccinate your child, you may be wondering what your legal rights are in this unique situation. Continue reading to discover your rights regarding co-parenting and vaccines, the difference shared legal custody and sole legal custody make in a decision such as this, and how an experienced family law attorney can assist you along the way. Do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced New Jersey family law attorney today to discover our services and how we can assist your upcoming legal process. You do not need to go through this alone. We are here to help.

What are my rights regarding co-parenting and the Covid-19 vaccine?

To discover the answer to your question, “What happens when divorced parents disagree about giving their child the Covid-19 vaccine?” the answer lies in your custody agreements and which type of custody you hold. When deciding on the custody of your child in divorce, you make a decision regarding legal custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions on your child’s behalf regarding important topics such as religion, education, and medical choices. Choosing to vaccinate your child will lie within the medical choices category of legal custody. When legal custody is shared or sole, co-parents might choose to utilize mediation or even going to court to resolve a disagreement over vaccinations.

One parent with sole legal custody

If only one parent has sole legal custody, they will hold the right to decide whether or not to have their minor child vaccinated. However, it is important to note that in some circumstances, if the parent with sole custody has changed their opinion on vaccines drastically, when prior to the divorce both parents were in general agreement about vaccines, the court could view this as a substantial change in circumstances that places the child at risk. This may even lead to a motion to modify legal custody from sole to shared legal custody.

Co-parents with shared legal custody

When co-parents who share legal custody do not agree on vaccinating their child, they have the opportunity to work through their differences on their own with the assistance and input of their child’s pediatrician as well as other medical sources. If this is not possible to resolve on their own, the objecting parent has the ability to request mediation. Mediation will help both parents to work out a solution without utilizing the court. If a compromise can’t be reached, the co-parents might look into utilizing the court to resolve the conflict. The courts will then evaluate what choice is in the best interest of the child. If you are facing an upcoming legal process regarding the vaccination of your child, it is important that you retain the services of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney who will walk you through each step of the way with your best interest in mind. Contact our firm today to learn more.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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