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COVID-19 Vaccine Disputes In Child Custody

Updated: 2 days ago

Co-parenting through a pandemic has had it's challenges. Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available to children ages 12 to 18 another decision has been added into the already overwhelming situation. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has recently been approved by the FDA. This unprecedented event has a lot of parents searchings for answers on whether or not to give their children the vaccine. Many parents who have never been uncomfortable with vaccines before may be asking "is the COVID-19 vaccine right for my child?" Medical decisions are ultimately decided by a child's parents. What happens if parents disagree on whether a child should receive the COVID-19 vaccine?



CDC Guidance For Vaccination of 12-18 Year Olds


Children 12 years and up are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. While the CDC acknowledges that children are less likely to become infected with the Coronavirus, they can still contract it, become ill, or spread it to others. On August 23, 2021 the CDC approved the Phizer vaccine for children 16 and up, with forthcoming approvals for children 12-15. The CDC urges those who can get the vaccine to do so and believes this will slow the spread of the virus so our world can return to pre-covid state. Read full CDC guidance fore children and teens here.


How Can A Family Law Attorney Help


If you or your ex-spouse disagree on whether your child should receive the COVID-19 vaccination, you should contact a family law attorney right away. While you both believe you have the best interest of your child's health in mind, the court does take into account several factors when settling a parental dispute of this nature:

  1. Is the vaccine necessary for the child the COVID-19 vaccination? Ex: Is the child immunocompromised or otherwise at high-risk of severe illness if they contract the virus?

  2. Will the child's wellbeing be harmed by either receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or having the COVID-19 vaccine withheld from the child? Ex: Has the child had adverse reactions to vaccines in the past?

  3. Is the child required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend school their current school? Ex: Does your child attend private school? (Public schools in Florida are prohibited from requesting COVID-19 vaccination status per Senate Bill 2006 which was approved by the Governor on May 3,2021.)

  4. Do the parent's have personal, religious, or medical concerns in regards to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine? Ex: Does the family practice a religion that forbids vaccinations of any kind?

It is important to review your current custody agreement. Depending on your time-sharing agreement and custody order, one parent may be designated as the sole decision maker for medical treatment. This may not be the case for all, especially if you agreed to 50/50 time-sharing. Retaining a seasoned family law attorney will ensure your rights as a parent are upheld. Sometimes vaccine disputes can be settled through mediation with the other parent. Other times the decision is ultimately up to a judge after both parents present their case, for or against the vaccine, in court. In all scenarios, having an experienced family law attorney on your side to help you through the process gives you an advantage. If you've found yourself in a COVID-19 vaccine dispute contact Max Factor Law today to schedule your consultation. You are not alone in this and your voice matters for your child.






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