What You Need to Know
When the COVID-19 vaccine was first introduced, parents could postpone discussing whether to vaccinate their children because the vaccine had not been approved for anyone younger than 18. That has now changed. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in those as young as 12, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that everyone age 12 and older receive the vaccine against COVID-19.
With this news, parents have a big question to answer: Should we vaccinate the kids?
This question can turn into a full-blown dilemma if the parents disagree. Add in the dynamic of a co-parenting agreement between exes and things can get even more challenging.
When Co-Parents Disagree
The COVID-19 vaccine might not be the first vaccination quandary. Some parents have disagreed about vaccinations in general, including flu, hepatitis, DTaP, and other vaccines. In these cases, guidance on when to inoculate and other medical decisions are often found in co-parenting agreements. Yet, for some former couples, the COVID-19 vaccine is a new point of contention.
The Doctor Can Help
If two parents don’t have firm opinions about the vaccine, they may need more information before making a decision. The child’s pediatrician can answer specific questions and can explain the pros and cons, how the vaccine works, and potential side effects. Once parents understand the vaccine better, it is possible they may come to an agreement on whether to vaccinate their children.
It is possible that certain activities – clubs, sports, schools, etc. – could require a vaccine for participation. The child’s overall health and happiness should be part of deciding whether to vaccinate.
Going to Family Court
If how to handle medical decisions is not addressed in existing agreements, and parents cannot come to an understanding, the courts can get involved. A parent can also seek a change to an existing co-parenting agreement. This usually involves motions, hearings, and litigation. The courts will rule based on what is in the best interest of the child. Judges may designate which parent has the final say on all health matters of their children or leave the decision to the child’s pediatrician.
Our experienced attorney at Camille Borg Law PLLC can help you enforce or modify an existing co-parenting agreement.
Unsafe Conditions at Home
When one parent believes their child is not safe at the home of the other parent, co-parenting arrangements should be revisited. In Texas, even during times of quarantine, child visitation agreements are still in effect. Yet some parents worry that their ex has an unsafe environment that exposes the child and others to the virus. These concerns intensify if someone in the home has been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19.
The first step is to talk to your former partner. They may be willing to make changes at the home or agree to temporary visitation changes, resolving the problem. When that doesn’t happen, consult Camille Borg Law PLLC.
If you believe your child is in imminent danger, call 9-1-1 (for an emergency) or Child Protective Services.
What’s Best for the Child
Co-parenting is often not easy and requires compromise and a commitment to the best interests of the child. When you and your ex cannot come to an agreement, our dedicated lawyer is here for you.
At Camille Borg Law PLLC, we focus solely on family law. Reach out to us at (469) 646-7763 or contact us online.