Dec 21, 2021
The COVID Vaccination Dilemma for Children of Divorced Parents
In the large majority of custody agreements involving divorced parents, joint legal custody is the operative directive. Joint legal custody establishes the divorcing parents will continue to make the major decisions, together, for their child/children about religion, education, medical treatment, etc. It is highly recommended these decisions take into consideration the best interests of the child.
Michael Routh, an Attorney at Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation, talks with Georganne Ford about the COVID Vaccination Dilemma for Children of Divorced Parents.
With the relative “uncertainty” surrounding the use of the COVID vaccination for children, the decision to do what is in the best interest of the child has become a dilemma for parents who do not see eye to eye on this subject. Until recently, courts have not had an opportunity to weigh in on the vaccination issue. Therefore, it has been hard for parents to receive any legal guidance on how to make this decision with ever-looming vaccination mandates on the horizon. Further, with any custody questions, the decisions are driven not only by the specific set of facts but also by the presiding judge.
Recently, in Chester County, the Court ruled in favor of vaccination for an incapacitated person, despite the objections of one of their guardians. The Court began their analysis by reviewing two United States Supreme Court cases that upheld vaccination as a requirement for attending school. Despite this not being applicable to the current case, the Court felt they provided useful guidance. The Court analyzed the positions of both parties, one based on science and the other based on religious beliefs and holistic medicine. Ultimately, the Court ruled in favor of science and agreed vaccinations will save lives.
Additionally, in Bucks County, courts are ruling in favor of vaccination for children due to scientific data presented and the belief schools will have future mandates for vaccination. They have even gone as far as stripping legal custody rights from the parent, who is against vaccination, by stating the parent is placing their child in danger.
Nevertheless, this will continue to be a topic of debate with the wealth of contrary opinions found across the United States. At this time, it appears the local courts are ruling in favor of science and vaccination.