As Covid vaccines are approved for younger people, it’s important to know what you can do if you and your co-parent do not agree on vaccinating your children. When parents share joint legal custody, they must agree on major decisions and that includes whether to vaccinate their child. If parents who share joint legal custody cannot agree on whether to vaccinate their child against Covid, one parent may file a motion to have the court decide the issue. The court will use the statutory best interest factors in determining whether to vaccinate the child. The court considers the factors based on this particular child, and will make a determination based on the preponderance of the evidence–i.e. whether vaccination is more likely than not in the best interests of this child.
In the past, courts have not hesitated to order a child to be vaccinated according the the standard childhood vaccination schedule, and no Michigan trial judge has ever been overturned after ordering a child to be vaccinated. Many parents have concerns about the safety and side effects of the Covid vaccine, and many parents want their child to be vaccinated as quickly as possible. Family law attorneys are watching closely to see whether the courts will treat Covid vaccines like the standard childhood vaccines. If you and your co-parent disagree, it’s important to discuss your concerns with an experienced attorney. Click here to set up an appointment.