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Disagreements Between Co-Parents on COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine

What If You and Your Ex Don’t Agree on the COVID-19 Vaccination?

Currently, 2.4 million COVID-19 vaccinations are getting administered in the US each day, and so far, 110,737,856 total doses have been administered in the nation. Altogether, 11.8% of Americans are fully vaccinated while 21.7% of the population received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As you can see, the coronavirus vaccine is rolling out faster than expected, meaning younger, lower-risk individuals could get access to the shot sooner than expected. As such, it is time for you and your ex to discuss whether or not to vaccinate your children. Although authorities and experts are encouraging Americans to get vaccinated, it’s ultimately up to you and your children. But is it?

If you are a divorced parent, the decision-making process can be far from straightforward, especially if you and your ex can’t see eye to eye. It doesn’t help that concerns over the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine are crossing people’s minds.

Whatever side you stand on, you must know who has the legal authority to make these health decisions in the first place.

That’s why you should look at the terms of your final divorce decree and custodial documents as soon as possible. Understand who has the decision-making power over your children’s health, school, religion, and other important things. In other words, you need to know who has legal custody.

Legal custody can be sole or joint. A co-parent with sole legal custody is the ONLY person who can decide whether or not to vaccinate their children for COVID-19. Co-parents who share joint legal custody, on the other hand, must reach a mutual agreement on the vaccine.

If you support vaccinating your kids but your spouse disagrees with you, even after long conversations about the matter, consider going to mediation. Mediation is a widely-popular and effective tool that disputing parties utilize to form an agreement. A mediator is a neutral, third-party professional who facilities discussions between two or more disputing sides in the hopes of helping them overcome their legal issues.

In this case, you and your spouse could work to reach an agreement about moving forward with the vaccine, if at all. However, mediation may not work for you two. If circumstances call for it, you may need to get a family court involved. While court involvement is the last thing co-parents want to do in most cases, it may be necessary. Judges cannot mandate anyone to get vaccinated, as that is not their authority, but they can defer co-parents to a medical professional for help.

Reach out to Masella Law Firm, P.A. for Help

If you and your former spouse can’t agree on the COVID-19 vaccination for your children, give us a call at
(803) 938-4952 to learn how we can help. Your kids could access the vaccine faster than expected, so the sooner you prepare with your ex, the better. Allow us to be a part of the process to ensure no stone is left unturned.