Now that the FBA has approved the emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15, it might become a discussion between you and your co-parent on whether to vaccinate your child. If you and your former spouse do not agree on vaccinating your child, you may be wondering what your legal rights are regarding this situation. Continue reading to discover how your legal custody rights will make a difference in your ability to make medical decisions regarding your child, specifically for vaccinations. Reach out to our experienced New Jersey family law attorney who will answer any questions you might have about your rights regarding co-parenting and the Covid-19 vaccine.
What are my rights regarding co-parenting and the Covid-19 vaccine?
When deciding on the custody of your child, you and your former spouse made a decision regarding legal custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions on your child’s behalf. Some examples of these decisions include what religion they practice, where they will get their education, and medical choices and decisions. Choosing to vaccinate or not vaccinate your child will fall within the medical choices category of legal custody. When legal custody is shared or sole, parents might choose to utilize medication or even court to come to a conclusion.
One parent with sole legal custody
If one parent has legal custody, they will hold the right to decide whether or not to have their child vaccinated. In some circumstances, if the parent with sole custody has drastically changed their opinion on vaccines and prior to the divorce both parents were in general agreement about vaccines, this could be viewed negatively by the court. Courts might view this as a substantial change in circumstances that places the child at risk that could lead to a motion to modify legal custody from sole to shared legal custody.
Co-parents with shared legal custody
Of course, it is always possible for you and your co-parent to work through your differences on your own with the assistance and input of your child’s pediatrician when you disagree on vaccinating your child. However, this is not always possible. If you cannot come to a resolution on your own, the objecting parent has the ability to request mediation. Mediation will help both parents to work out a solution without the need to get the court involved. If mediation is not successful, you might consider utilizing the court to resolve the issue. The courts will then evaluate what choice is in the best interest of the child.
If you are having trouble coming to a resolution regarding the vaccination of your child, reach out to our experienced New Jersey family law attorney. We will happily walk you through your options and will always keep your best interest in mind. Give our firm a call today to get started.
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Ross and Calandrillo, LLC is a full-service divorce, family, and real estate law firm located in Mountainside, New Jersey. For strong legal representation in all of your divorce or family law matters, contact Ross and Calandrillo, LLC to schedule a consultation.