Parents typically try to do what is best for their children, but not every parent agrees about the right approach to modern parenting. For example, depending on someone’s religious or political beliefs, they may have strong opinions about popular medical care, like vaccinations.
If parents share legal custody, both may have a say in the medical care that the children receive. Such arrangements could complicate the process of getting your children necessary medical care.
Do you and your ex have to agree about vaccinations for the kids to receive their immunizations?
Your custody order should discuss legal custody
Shared legal custody isn’t just about the division of parenting time and financial responsibilities. Parents also need to make decisions for the children. Shared legal custody is common in Virginia.
Many times, parents have the authority to make decisions while they are the ones with physical custody of the children. The parents may need to discuss major decisions and come to an agreement if they share legal custody.
Occasionally, each parent may have specific forms of legal authority. In other scenarios, one parent may have sole legal custody despite both parents sharing physical custody. The division of legal custody determines who ultimately chooses whether the children get vaccinated or not.
What if you don’t agree with your ex’s decision?
If you believe that your ex’s approach to health care is not good for the children, you could potentially attempt to modify your custody order. With the right changes, you may be able vested with the necessary authority to start making medical decisions for your children.
A custody modification request can result in a judge changing the division of legal responsibility between parents. Typically, the parent requesting the change will need some kind of documentation supporting their request. For example, documentation about the children’s health and care you think they need or should not receive can help convince the courts to intervene and give you more influence over those health care decisions.
Pursuing more legal custody can be a way to have a greater say in the care of your children receive and other important decisions about their health and lives.