When Children and Vaccines Are an Issue in Divorce

There is nothing easy about divorce, and Covid, especially vaccines, especially when children are involved, are only complicating things.

What if one parent wants children vaccinated but the other does not?

“Yes, we are seeing that as an issue that is being discussed and is being litigated,” says Texas divorce attorney Jennifer Hargrave. And perhaps surprisingly, it’s not a new issue. “Arguing over vaccines isn’t anything new. We’ve had couples who have struggled with that issue prior to covid.”

Polio. Measles. Vaccines have been an issue for some for years, and the issue has come up in divorces before. To an extent, explains Hargrave, it depends on where in the divorce process a couple is when the issue comes up and what had been previously agreed to.

“In general, if both parents had agreed that they were not going to have their children vaccinated, and then one parent decides that they want to have a child vaccinated, that’s likely going to be a dispute that will be litigated,” advises Hargrave.

A simple rule, prior to divorce, both parents must agree on a decision. In a divorce decree, one parent will be charged with the children’s health care, and that parent may decide regardless of input from the other. Consult an attorney before you make a life decision because the law is complex.

Suffice it to say, Covid has exacerbated what was already a contentious issue for some couples, and divorce attorneys are having to navigate separating parents through the legal hurdles.

photo: Getty Images

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