Married parents, in the age of Covid-19, are struggling with the upcoming decision of whether or not they will be vaccinating their minor children. But what happens to those divorced, or never married parents, who have to make the same decision? And what happens if those parents disagree on whether or not they should vaccinate their children?
The first question parents must ask themselves is what does their agreement or their court order say? Most parents, baring a significant reason, will have joint legal custody of their children. Joint legal custody means, that parents shall jointly make all major decisions on behalf of or otherwise affecting their shared children. The types of major decisions that require joint decision making are all major religious, educational and health decisions relevant to those children. Therefore, absent there being an emergency, each parent is to contribute to the decisions made on behalf of the child.
Therefore, the decision on whether or not to vaccinate a child, with a novel vaccine, is one that must be made jointly. And, if the parties cannot agree, it is each parents prerogative to bring the issue to a judge for a determination. Ultimately, that judge would be required to hold a plenary hearing, and hear the testimony of not only the parents, possibly the child (depending on their age) and the compelling expert testimony on whether or not the vaccine should be administered. These types of hearings and decisions are extremely difficult to present to the court and ultimately for the court to decide. If at all possible, parties should seek a middle ground and avoid judicial intervention when it comes to medical decisions related to their children.
If, however, you find that you are required to seek judicial intervention having competent and compassionate counsel on your side is extremely important. At Shane and White, LLC, we put your family first. Call us for a consultation on your matter today, at 732-819-9100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.