Divorce, Children and Vaccines: Who Calls The Shots?
If Parents Disagree about COVID-19 Vaccines, an Experienced Divorce Attorney can Help
Many divorces are rife with disagreements, some can be worked out in one conversation, and others require several before a consensus is achieved.
If an agreement-even through mediation cannot be reached-it must be decided in family court. Each partner feels that their opinion makes the most sense, and the decision should go their way. Sometimes, the disagreement comes from an emotional place, whereas the content is not as important as is “winning.” Frequently, it is helpful to seek legal advice from a knowledgeable source who can give you direction.
This is especially the case when deciding whether or not the children will be vaccinated. With the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, which are now available in pretty much every pharmacy around, the WHO has recommended that children ages 12 and up to be vaccinated due to the stronger Delta Variant, which has recently been identified as a stronger strain. That being said, opinions differ over vaccines and some parents inevitably fall on different sides of the issue due to religion, medical, and other considerations and priorities.
What about the Child Custody Agreements?
Before discussing which parent has the say-so regarding vaccines, one must identify the type of custody and the rights there within. The custody agreement identifies what kind of custody is endowed to each parent. Legal custody can also be sole or joint and refers to the parent’s educational, religious, and medical decisions (s) for the children. Sole physical custody enables a parent to have the children reside with him/her. Joint physical custody means the ex-spouses share physical custody of the children. Frequently, a schedule is worked out between the parents; many choose one week on and one-off or two weeks at a time. Parent’s Joint custody means that both parents must reach an agreement. If, after discussion, the parents disagree, a trip to family court may be the only solution.
What are my Scenarios in Case of Disagreement?
Hopefully, the disagreement will be solved between you and your former spouse; however, if that isn’t the case, keep the following in mind:
Parents’ Personal Opinions
Both parents are permitted to present evidence/experts to support their refusal to vaccinate their child or not. Historically, personal opinions are not as vital as professional testimony from the child’s medical providers.
This is also another point of contention when vaccinating or not vaccinating the children is in dispute. The court must be convinced, with evidence demonstrating a devout following of the religion, to give credit to the argument. Even then, it is frequently insufficient evidence to sway a decision.
This is also taken into consideration by the court when making its decision. If the father has spent a much greater percentage of time with the children and is opposed to vaccinating them, the court may rule in his favor.
Parents have their children’s best interests at heart. If one parent refuses to have their children vaccinated, due to a religious belief or a health concern, when an agreement cannot be reached between both parents, the court must decide. You must have the best legal representation to guide you through this process.
Contact our Family Law Attorneys for a Free Consultation
Our knowledgeable attorneys are ready to go to bat for you and protect you and your children’s rights at Bronzino Law Firm.
Our team is committed to listening to your personal argument and helping you reach an agreement in the child´s best interests. We encourage you to contact us for immediate help in this respect. We have successfully represented a multitude of clients in Brick, Sea Girt, Toms River, Lakewood, Berkeley, Wall Township, and across the Jersey Shore.
If you are involved in or anticipate becoming involved in a legal fight over the COVID-19 vaccine, we urge you to contact us online for a free initial consultation or through our office in Brick, New Jersey at (732) 812-3102.