What happens when divorced parents disagree on immunizations?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2022 | Child Custody

Determining whether a child should receive immunizations or not is a decision that parents should agree upon. When they disagree about what needs to happen, it can quickly become contentious.

A parent who’s still married to the child’s other parent can take the child for vaccination even if their spouse disagrees. This isn’t the case if the parents aren’t married. There can be severe consequences if one parent takes the child for vaccination when the other doesn’t agree.

Can you compromise with your ex?

One of the most important things to do is to discuss the situation with your ex. Find out why they have the stance they do about the vaccines. It may behoove you to get the opinion of the child’s pediatrician or even have a discussion with the doctor and your ex. This could help you to decide how to proceed.

Who makes medical decisions for the child?

One decision in the child custody order is who makes decisions for the children. If you have shared custody with shared decision-making, you and your ex will have to agree on whether the children should be vaccinated or not. If only one parent has the decision-making ability, that parent is the one who gets to decide if the child will be vaccinated.

What happens if you have shared custody and can’t agree?

You may have to go to court if you have shared decision-making power and can’t agree on what’s best for the child. The judge will look at the stance of each parent and will decide if one parent should be awarded either final or sole decision making authority. You may need to present evidence to support your side of the matter.

Judges often prefer to be hands-off in decisions like this but may understand that acting when parents can’t agree is necessary. It can take considerable time to get before the court, so be sure you leave ample time if the vaccination is required for a time-sensitive reason.

Parents have to ensure they’re complying with the parenting plan that’s set. Working with someone familiar with parental conflicts might be beneficial. You can learn your options and take steps based on what you feel is best in your case



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