CAN THE COVID-19 VACCINE AFFECT MY CHILD CUSTODY ARRANGEMENT? – Little one Custody Authorized Blogs Posted by Gerard F. Miles

The current coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) was full of uncertainties. With all the confusion, it can be difficult to tell which move is the right one. Parents need to consider their children’s wellbeing. This decision can get even more complicated when two parents do not match, which becomes a legal issue with joint custody arrangements. If one parent wants their children to be vaccinated and the other parent is against vaccination, it can lead to litigation.

Can children get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Many people fear the unknown side effects of the available COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved in the US. A process that typically took years was completed in just months. Another cause of hesitation may be a lack of confidence in the effectiveness of a vaccine.

Currently, children cannot get a COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), the Moderna vaccine will be distributed to recipients over the age of 18, and the Pfizer shot is only approved for those over the age of 16. Once studies have shown that the vaccines are safe and effective for children, schools can mandate vaccinations so students can return to face-to-face classes.

The lack of official confirmation of child vaccination makes parents reluctant. Other parents see the protective benefits of vaccines and believe in the medical promise and the potential for the children to return to normal life with school and friends. Many parents are willing to do the homeschooling job to prevent their children from getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Which parent can make the decision about the vaccine?
When parents have a joint custody arrangement, both equally make decisions that affect their children. In contrast to custody situations, joint custody means that regardless of the child’s lifestyles, both parents have an equal say in legal decisions that affect the child, including medical decisions. If the parents cannot agree on such legal issues, the courts can be involved. To this end, one or the other parent usually files an application for the court to rule on the matter.

How can I support my case?
It wasn’t uncommon for parents to fundamentally disagree on parenting issues during the current COVID-19 pandemic. With vaccines, there are several potential disputes that can raise legal issues and lead to judicial involvement. Whether or not the child should be vaccinated is an issue, but medical or educational concerns can make resolving this controversy more complicated. For example, a decision confirming a parent’s refusal to vaccinate may affect whether or not the child can return to face-to-face learning. In such a case, the parent who opposes vaccination can request that the child be homeschooled. This would require an assessment of the cost-benefit analysis in terms of the social, educational and financial impact of homeschooling.

Another solution to avoiding school-required vaccinations could be to get a medical or religious exemption. In this case, however, the court must determine whether a parent has the right to request such an exemption.

A judge hears all kinds of evidence designed to convince the court to put one parent above the other. In a case involving vaccination, a parent who is against vaccination can make a medical argument that the vaccine is unsafe. To support this claim, you can consult the child’s pediatrician or other medical expert to support the argument against vaccination, such as B. Medical restrictions.

In one case at school, a parent should be provided with information about the homeschooling program and evidence to demonstrate how the new regime provides good educational opportunities for the child. The parent making such an argument should also explain convincingly how the arrangement will still satisfy the child’s need for socialization. Another problem is the potential financial burden on the family if one of the parents has to stop working in order to home-school the children.

One factor that can have a profound impact on the court’s decision is parental involvement. When it is clear that a parent has made medical and educational decisions for the child in the past, the judge may place more weight on that parent’s side in the vaccination issue. It can be argued that a parent’s strong feeling on this one issue should not interfere with an established parental decision-making arrangement. If parents cannot agree on vaccination, it is advisable to consult a lawyer.

Baltimore County’s custody attorneys at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC help clients assert parental rights
A Baltimore County custody attorney at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can help you protect your parental rights by bringing your case to the table to protect your child’s best interests. Contact us online or call us at 443-589-0150 for a free consultation. Based in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve customers throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Colombia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.

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