Vaccines have been around for over 100 years now. However, many parents do not see eye-to-eye when determining whether they are right for their child. So, what does California have to say to divorced parents when one parent thinks a vaccine series is a good idea and one parent does not?
Can a parent get their child vaccinated unilaterally?
While this may not be the easiest answer, this will likely depend on the specific language in your divorce settlement and decree.
If one parent is granted sole custody, it is likely that the divorce settlement should include specific language regarding medical decisions lying in their sole hands. Conversely, with joint custody, there will be language that medical decisions are joint or shared.
Even in joint custody arrangements, one parent may be given unilateral medical decisions. Check your divorce decree.
What if we share medical decisions?
If you share custody of your children’s medical care, and you sit on opposite sides of the vaccine debate, it may be in your best interest to consult an attorney.
Recent news reports from the Los Angeles Times explained that many parents struggle with this type of dispute, and litigation is ongoing.
Alternatively, seeking alternative conflict resolution tools, like mediation, may also be an option, if you are both open to seeking a neutral opinion.
If you need assistance establishing a divorce settlement or reviewing your divorce decree specifically to determine if one or both of you share rights to decide medical care, a family law attorney can be an asset. They can explain your legal rights.