Divorce, Children, and Vaccinations: When Parents Do Not Agree

With the world health situation in the state that it is in, one major hot topic is vaccination. There has always been debate about vaccinations and children, but with the pandemic at the forefront, it can become a major topic especially between parents who are divorced or are in the process of divorcing. Part of the parenting plan after divorce should include the topic of vaccinations along with all other health and medical decisions that have to be made. If one parent wants a child vaccinated for anything and the other does not, it can create a problem. If you find yourself in this situation, the following are some things you need to know:

Check Your Court Order

Before you call your attorney, read over your court order for custody. You need to be certain which parent, if not both, is in charge of making healthcare decisions outside of normal well-checks. If you are the parent with control over the medical decisions, the other parent may want to contest your decision regarding vaccinating your children. The court order will spell out what can be done when it comes to contesting a medical decision. If the court order does not address medical decisions or if both parents must make medical decisions together, you have to figure out a compromise.

Consider Mediation

For many divorced couples, coming to a compromise on vaccinations may not be possible to do without intervention. If your court order does not have a stipulation that allows only one parent to make medical decisions, you can consider going through mediation to come to an agreement. Mediation will bring you, your former spouse, your divorce attorneys, and other experts to help you make a decision. Mediation allows both of you to make a final decision with input from experts to help you better understand your options. Some of the experts may include medical professionals to help provide their expertise on the matter to help one or both of you decide what is best for your children when it comes to vaccinations.

Go Back to Court

If you and your former spouse cannot agree on vaccinations for your children and the court order does not stipulate which parent has the right to make the final decision, you can go back to court. This is often done after a failed attempt at mediation. A judge will listen to both parents and decide what will happen based on the situation at hand and on what is in the best interest of the children.