The Covid vaccine is not as new as it was, but it’s reintroduced an old argument for many co-parents. Vaccinations aren’t yet mandatory for children, but many parents are hoping these medical therapies will be the solution to get their children’s school lives back to normal. Vaccination decisions have been a hot topic in our national conversation, but for many parents, it’s becoming an explosive issue to navigate as co-parents with separate households and separate ideas. For couples seeking a divorce during these confusing times, mediation and cooperation may provide the answers you need to finalize a divorce with terms you can live with in the coming years. Co-parents who disagree on medical issues like whether you should or shouldn’t vaccinate your shared children can work with a divorce attorney to address these issues in your custody agreement.
How Child Custody Agreements Can Complicate Vaccination Disagreements
Child custody decisions can play a very important role in your decision to vaccinate your child. Currently, vaccines have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for children over the age of 16, but the vaccine is still under emergency use authorization for children between the ages of 12-15. While testing is underway for children as young as six months old, the vaccine is still not approved for many children who would fall under court custody agreements. For parents who are not on the same page about vaccines, this can be a difficult challenge that could derail a working parenting plan and co-parent relationship. Parents who share joint legal custody share medical determinations with their co-parent, but for parents who have sole legal custody of their children, they are not required to reach an agreement with their co-parent before pursuing vaccination for their child.
How to Move Forward if You Disagree About the COVID-19 Vaccine With Your Co-Parent
For parents with sole custody, if you hope to move forward with a positive and healthy relationship with your co-parent, you will need to sit with your ex and have thoughtful and meaningful conversations about how to move forward. If you share legal custody with your co-parent, you may need to have the help of mediators or professionals to engage in a meaningful conversation about how to move forward regarding medical determinations for your minor children.
- Custody Agreement Review: If you have questions or concerns regarding vaccination and your rights when it comes to vaccinating your children, it’s best to begin by reviewing your custody agreement. Most couples share joint legal custody, so you may need to find out the specifics of your situation before moving forward with a plan to make unilateral medical decisions. It may be necessary to review your agreement with your legal counsel.
- Modify Your Custody Agreement: If you and your co-parent have reached an impasse regarding whether to vaccinate your child, you may need to work with a divorce or family law attorney to discuss whether you can modify your custody agreement to make specifications regarding vaccinations and Covid-19 specifications.
- Post-Divorce Mediation: Co-parents who cannot reach an agreement regarding coronavirus vaccinations may seek post-divorce mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution, and your attorney can work with you to find an appropriate mediator to help reach a resolution on the matter.
Timely and Considerate Legal Representation
Knowing the right way to settle conflicts with your co-parent can be challenging, but you don’t have to figure it out alone. The team at the Law Office of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC, understands the legal requirements you face as you consider how to move forward with your child’s medical choices. Our child custody team is empathetic to the difficulties caused by custody disputes. Call today to schedule a consultation at (515) 200-7571 or send a message using our online contact portal.