Co-parents Who Disagree over COVID Vaccines for Their Children

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that continues to rage throughout the country and in the State of Maryland, many parents are getting their children vaccinated as soon as possible. However, complications arise when divorced parents disagree about whether a child should get the vaccine. In some shared custody arrangements, parents are given joint custody of every medical decision for their children. When parents disagree about whether their child should receive a COVID-19 vaccine and/or a booster shot, judges in the court system are being called upon to settle disputes.

If you are in the midst of divorce or custody proceedings, it is important that you have a knowledgeable Maryland family law attorney handling your case. Moreover, if a dispute arises involving shared custody as it pertains to COVID-19 vaccinations, your lawyer could file the necessary motion with the court. Your attorney could also seek court intervention to resolve a dispute in the event you and your ex are unable to resolve it yourselves.

Types of Custody Arrangements within Maryland

When it comes to child custody arrangements, the State of Maryland recognizes two types: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody has to do with where a couple’s child or children are going to live physically. In some instances, physical custody might be shared, while at other times, one parent may have primary physical custody, and the other parent will receive visitation rights.

The same type of arrangement often applies to legal custody. Legal custody refers to a parent’s ability to make decisions for their children, such as with religion, education, and medical care. When parents share legal custody, they have joint decision-making power. Consequently, if one parent wants their child to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and the other parent does not, complications can arise.

Involving the Court in a Co-parenting Dispute

When disputes involving child medical care arise between ex-spouses, a court might need to settle them. An attorney could assist you with filing a court motion and represent you at any court hearings that you need to attend. At a hearing, the judge will typically want to know why one parent does not wish to have the child vaccinated against COVID-19. In some instances, a parent might object to vaccination because of a religious or a medical reason. In order to make a convincing case, the objecting parent will typically need to present evidence, such as medical documentation, in support of their argument against vaccination.

The judge will listen to the evidence presented at the hearing and make a decision. In some instances, the court might make changes to custody orders or agreements. If one parent violates the custody order, there can be serious consequences, so it is important to make sure you get a satisfactory order.

In any case, a knowledgeable Maryland family law attorney could assist you with coming to an agreement out of court. If an agreement is not possible without court involvement, your lawyer can represent you at all hearings and advocate for your legal interests there.

Contact our office today.