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Custody Battles Over COVID-19 Vaccines

On Behalf of | Dec 31, 2021 | Child Custody

When two parents share legal custody of their child, they share the responsibility of making important decisions for the child. Such decisions might involve education, religion, healthcare, and other major life issues. One issue that has become the focus of numerous custody battles in the past year is whether or not a child over the age of five should get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer has an emergency use order for its vaccine for children ages five-15, and the vaccine is fully approved for those 16 and up. If one parent wants to vaccinate their child and the other doesn’t, it can lead to serious disputes. If one parent gets a child vaccinated against the other parent’s will, they can face harsh penalties for breaching a custody agreement.

A custody agreement might indicate that:

  • Both parents share in all healthcare decisions
  • One parent has the right to make healthcare decisions (potentially also giving the other parent the sole right to make educational decisions or a similar arrangement)

If one parent has the sole responsibility of healthcare decisions, they should make the choice regarding the vaccine. If the parents are supposed to share this decision-making authority, and they disagree, the issue might need to go before a family judge, and you should contact a Long Beach child custody attorney immediately.

A judge will listen to both sides and determine which parent should make the decision. Judges will not order a child to be vaccinated, but instead will decide which parent is in charge of vaccine-related matters.

Consult with a Long Beach Child Custody Lawyer

The legal team at Furubotten Law understands how sensitive the issue of COVID-19 vaccines for children can be. We work with parents and help them address this type of custody dispute in the most efficient manner possible. Contact us to learn more about your options today.