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When Divorced Parents Disagree About The COVID-19 Vaccine

In cases involving divorce and child custody in Aiken, disputes over differences of opinion between parents are common. Currently, there is a significant amount of controversy regarding getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Find out more about who is entitled to make this decision and what to do if you and the other parent disagree.

Parental Rights in Decision Making in Child Custody Arrangements

Under the South Carolina Statutes, parenting plans are used to determine child custody and visitation in the event of a divorce. They dictate the amount of time the child spends in each parent’s home, their rights regarding overnight visits on weekends, and extended time over holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions. Parenting plans also specify drop-off and pick-up arrangements, provisions for when plans fall through, and other potentially contentious matters. This includes the right to make important decisions on the child’s behalf, such as in regards to the following:

  • The child’s education

  • Their religious upbringing

  • Involvement in extracurricular activities

  • Their medical care.

Depending on the circumstances involved in the case, one or both parents may have the authority to make decisions on the child’s behalf, otherwise referred to as legal custody. This will determine your rights and whether you have a say in matters such as getting your child the COVID-19 vaccine.

Disputes Among Parents Over the COVID Vaccine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmaceutical companies rushed to create a vaccine against it. In December 2020, there were several that were found to be successful in preventing the illnesses. These received emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration. Since then, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended everyone over the age of 12 get vaccinated. The recommendation is expected to extend to children under this age in the fall of 2021.

Unfortunately, as with much surrounding COVID, there is controversy over the vaccine. Among the common concerns include the emergency use approval, the potential for side effects, any future or long-term impacts the vaccine could have on our health, and debates over whether it is actually needed. In child custody arrangements, the parent with legal authority in decision-making would have the right to choose whether or not the child gets vaccinated. If divorced parents disagree about the COVID 19 vaccine, factors that could influence the decision include:

  • Any health conditions the child has that could put them at risk from either the COVID virus or the vaccine

  • Whether one of the parent’s or other close family members suffers increased risks due to COVID, making vaccination a top priority

  • Whether a vaccination is currently being required at school or for other activities the child is engaged in

  • Any moral or religious objections either parent has to vaccinations in general

Get Legal Help

When it comes to matters impacting your children, the Surasky Law Firm acts as a strong legal advocate on your behalf. If you are a divorced parent that has a disagreement about the Covid19 vaccine, get legal help. To discuss your options with our Aiken child custody attorney, call or contact our office online and request a consultation today.


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