By: Amanda Vann, Attorney
The decision of whether or not to have your child receive Covid vaccinations can be complex and cause division for many parents. The current state of our political environment has caused a lot of division in households, but parents still need to decide on the Covid vaccine for their children.
As with any issue, if parents disagree about vaccinating, you must discuss the issue. Communication is key for separated parents who share legal custody and must co-parent from different households. Making decisions about the medical welfare of your child must be done by all parents. Keep the discussion focused on your child’s welfare, taking into consideration their current health and the outside environmental factors that can impact their health. It would help if you talked about the child’s exposure at school, extracurricular activities, and the health of other immediate family members that the child lives with within any home. Keep the conversation free from political viewpoints and focus on facts that impact your child. In most instances, parents can come to an agreement when considering what’s best for their child.
If you cannot agree by talking about your respective concerns, consider your child’s medical history of vaccinations. Have you previously had your child vaccinated? What, if anything, has changed in your child’s medical history, making this vaccination different? How you have previously raised your child and the medical decisions you have already made as parents will undoubtedly guide continuing to make decisions together.
Seek the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Set up a time to discuss the concerns you have with the pediatrician together. This does not mean you should use the pediatrician as the decision-maker, but talk with the pediatrician about your concerns and listen to the recommendations they have. Following the advice of medical professionals is imperative for all parents. Your child’s pediatrician can give you proper recommendations based upon your child’s medical history and the research and reasoning behind their recommendation.
As parents, you can also use the professional services of a Parenting Specialist or Parenting Coordinator. These professionals can assist all parents, especially those that are co-parenting from separate homes, with reaching an agreement without having to have court intervention. Parents may also find Collaborative Law and Mediation before then going to Court.
Lastly, if, after talking amongst yourselves and utilizing the assistance of professionals, you still cannot reach an agreement, you can seek help from the court to make a decision. The court will take into consideration the medical recommendations of your child’s doctors, your own wishes, as well as any other professionals you would like heard. However, you should be prepared that a court can also modify legal custody if parents cannot work together in reaching decisions for their child, so be ready for a potential change if the court deems it necessary.
About Andalman & Flynn, P.C.: Founded in 1998 in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, Andalman & Flynn has forged a distinguished reputation for legal excellence. The firm represents individuals seeking disability benefits throughout the country and practices family law throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia. The firm focuses on cases that impact the rights of everyone, and are there for clients when responsive legal help is most critical. The firm has provided legal analysis on national and local television and radio, and their attorneys often testify before legislative bodies and are routinely invited to contribute to prominent legal publications. For more information about Andalman & Flynn, please visit the website at andalmanflynn.com or call 301.563.6685