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Dear Vanessa: Can I Vaccinate My Kid Even Though My Ex Doesn’t Want To?

Dear Vanessa: Can I Vaccinate My Kid Even Though My Ex Doesn't Want To?

When couples are married, either parent may be able to make decisions about healthcare without necessarily getting approval of the other parent. For divorced families who share custody, however, things are different. Both parents must sign off on healthcare decisions, including the decision to vaccinate their child (or not).

While this is a hot-button topic right now, this situation is certainly not limited to just the COVID vaccine. Making a decision to vaccinate a child for any disease without your ex’s approval can lead to major ramifications in the Florida family law courts.

What Happens if You Vaccinate Your Child Without Your Ex’s Approval?

If your ex doesn’t want to vaccinate your child, but you go ahead and do it anyway, what are the potential consequences?

Most judges will consider the decision to vaccinate a child to be a major decision, and major decisions must be made together.

If this violation is taken to court, the offending parent (in this case, the one who went ahead and vaccinated their child without approval from their ex) could be faced with the loss of parental responsibility as well as 100 percent exclusion from any future medical decisions for their child. Moreover, this parent may also be responsible for paying the attorney’s fees and other monetary sanctions.

In other words, there are real and lasting consequences if you make a decision that deviates from what is outlined in the parenting plan.

So, How Can You and Your Ex Come to a Joint Decision?

Making shared decisions about medical care can be highly difficult. Before taking any action, the first step should be to look at your parenting plan. As mentioned, failure to abide by the court order could result in you losing your right to make future medical decisions for your child.

If you need a professional to help you resolve your differences, you might consider pursuing mediation. Seeking advice from a medical professional can also be helpful.

Medical decisions can be highly contentious. They’re also extremely important. If you have questions or concerns regarding your rights as a parent and ensuring your child’s needs and wellbeing are met, contact our team at the Vasquez de Lara Law Group today today to schedule a free case evaluation.