Couples are Divorcing over Choices to get Covid-19 Vaccine for Children

A big fight parents are now having that has them seeking divorce is whether or not to vaccinate their child from Covid-19.

Posted: Oct 11, 2021 1:15 AM
Updated: Oct 11, 2021 3:45 PM

Picture this: you're scrolling through your phone trying to get your child signed up for a Covid-19 vaccine, but your spouse does not want them to receive it.

Now you're heading for divorce.

Attorneys at Danks and Danks say the resolution is not an easy one.

"That's an issue we've seen arising in the courts," family attorney Jonathan Danks said. "The way it typically works is there will be a custody order. One parents or both will share legal custody of the minor child. And that's the right to determine important aspects of their lives like medical care, school choice, religious choice, things like that. And when that's shared and when you have one parent with one opinion on one vaccine and another with a different opinion, a lot of the times that can end up in the courts."

It is then up for the judge to decide whether or not the child will get vaccinated

Vaccines have been a hot button issue in court for a while. Just recently, Judge Les Shively heard a case in the Vanderburgh County Courts where parents were fighting over whether or not their child should have the standard vaccines required for school.

"One parent claimed they had the First Amendment right to make those decisions," Judge Shively said. "The other parent was making the argument that it really should be analyzed from the standpoint of what is best for the child."

They had eight hours of testimony with medical experts even taking the stand.

When it comes to these vaccine cases, the judge is still supposed to be objective -- regardless of their own personal opinion.

"Some parents may have a religious objection to a vaccine they feel strongly about that has nothing to do with whether they think the vaccine is effective and they raise the child in that religious manner," Danks said. "And the judge, it's not his job to substitute his judgment on the vaccine for the parent but to decide is the parent acting in the best interest of the child."

The hope though, is that parents can come to a resolution before they have to take the drastic measure of going to court.

"Parents are ultimately the decision makers and if parents are on the same page," Shively said, "The courts don't and should not get involved."

While many divorces are messy, attorneys say it is important to put your child's mental health and well being first before making these big decisions.

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