Just when you thought you had this co-parenting thing down – after considerable effort on your part – the pandemic has some massive challenges to throw your way. If you and your ex disagree on the matter of vaccinations, finding a middle ground may be next to impossible. The fact is that the topic has become more divisive than most of us could have imagined early on, and many divorced parents are faced with challenging decisions at best – and with court battles at worst. If you have questions or concerns about your children and COVID-19 vaccinations, it’s time to consult with an experienced Kentucky family law attorney.
Your Child Custody Arrangements
In a Kentucky divorce, joint custody is presumed to be in the children’s best interest (barring a compelling reason for ruling otherwise), and as such, both parents generally share decision-making authority. This means that if you and your ex do not see eye-to-eye regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, you could face a battle ahead.
COVID-19 has disrupted our lives in ways that we would have considered unimaginable in years gone by, and this vaccine disconnect is yet another example. If one parent has sole custody of your shared children, it means that he or she can make primary parenting decisions such as whether or not they should be vaccinated. That said, the noncustodial parent retains the right to ask the court to set limitations when the children’s physical health is endangered, which may be successfully argued (potentially by either side) when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines.
In other words, even when the matter is seemingly clear-cut because one parent has decision-making authority, it may not be. Further, even if the court ultimately upholds the decision of the parent with sole custody, the other parent will have slowed down the process considerably (by taking the matter up with the court in the first place).
If you and your children’s other parent share joint custody, which is often the case, and you are unable to reach a consensus regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, you’ll need to look to the court as your tiebreaker. While it’s difficult to say exactly how the court will rule in your case, it’s fair to say that the court order can order which parent may decide whether the child will be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Precedent for COVID-19 Vaccinations
The New York Times reports that there is a legal precedent for requiring vaccines. Consider the following:
- All 50 states require that children be vaccinated for polio, whooping cough, and chickenpox in order to attend public school.
- At least two states already have COVID-19 vaccine mandates for students in public schools.
Parents who’ve had their children vaccinated for other diseases but balk at COVID-19 vaccines are likely to have a more difficult time supporting their stance against the vaccine.
Consult with an Experienced Kentucky Family Law Attorney Today
The accomplished family law attorneys at Stotts Law, PLLC, in Georgetown, Kentucky, recognize the gravity of your concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and dedicate their impressive experience to helping you find a beneficial resolution. We’re here to help, so please don’t delay reaching out to schedule a consultation or call us at 502-383-1550 for more information.