Disagreeing with Your Ex About COVID-19 Vaccination for Your Child?:
For divorced parents, there are many decisions where they need to come to an agreement with their ex-spouse regarding their children’s health and wellbeing. Often decisions are outlined in their parenting plan, including: their child custody, visitation rights and certain decisions about their child’s medical treatment. With the advent of COVID-19 vaccines, first for teenagers, then pre-teens, and more recently children ages 6 months through 4 years old, many parents are finding themselves in disagreement with their ex regarding the best path forward.
If you are in a situation where you and your ex can’t agree as to whether COVID-19 vaccination is best for your child, here’s what you can do.
First try to understand your ex’s position. Perhaps by doing so, you can alleviate their concerns. At all costs, don’t put your child in the center of any arguments you may have. This information may help: According to a July 2022 COVID-19 Vaccine survey by KFF a non-partisan health policy research organization, following were parents’ main concerns for not getting their children vaccinated:
- For children ages 6 months through 4 years old, more than four in ten parents said they would “definitely not” get their child vaccinated for COVID-19. They cited concerns about the newness of the vaccine and not enough testing or research, concerns over side effects, and worries over the overall safety of the vaccines.
- About six in ten parents of teenagers, ages 12-17, said their child has been vaccinated. Among children ages 5-11, four in ten parents said their child had gotten the vaccine. Nearly three in ten parents of 12 to 17 year-olds and nearly four in ten parents of 5 to 11 year-olds said they would definitely not get their child vaccinated for COVID-19.
Ask your pediatrician or family doctor for help
Once you understand your ex’s concerns, you may want to ask your child’s pediatrician to help address them, even meeting together with you and your ex to discuss your child’s health. Your child’s pediatrician should be able to provide information and guidance that can make the decision clearer and easier.
Ask the court to intervene
If talking through your ex’s concerns and meeting with your pediatrician doesn’t work, you may need to ask the court to intervene and render a decision that will be in your child’s best interests. Typically, in the state of California, the court will follow your pediatrician’s recommendations, since your child’s doctor knows their particular health situation best.
Contact me for assistance
If you and your ex are having a disagreement about whether to get your child vaccinated for COVID-19, or any other child custody disagreement, please contact my office for a consultation. As an experienced divorce and child custody attorney, I have helped many parents seek and win legal decisions that are in the best interests of their child.
Attorney Christina Sherman is a Marin County CA family law attorney and Certified Family Law Specialist, specializing in divorce, child custody and support, marital contracts and other family law issues.
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