Coronavirus Vaccines Could Lead to Disputes Between Divorced Parents, Stewart Law Group Says
January 12, 2021
Arizona lawyer says disagreements over the coronavirus vaccine raise new legal questions
Stewart Law Group believes that the rollout of the coronavirus vaccines could lead to disputes between divorced parents over whether to vaccinate their children, raising new legal questions.
“We’ve already seen disagreements over handling custody arrangements during lockdowns and whether children should stay with a parent who is a frontline health care worker,” said founder Scott David Stewart. “The vaccine is going to be the next fight in the pandemic.”
Stewart also said that if, as a parent, you have sole legal decision-making authority, you will get to decide whether to vaccinate your child. If you have joint legal decision-making and you disagree, you will probably need to go to Court over it, but he added that the Court will not be in the business of choosing to vaccinate children and will ultimately defer to medical doctors giving one parent the legal decision-making authority.
With health care workers already being vaccinated in the U.S., these disputes could soon come to a head, especially in Arizona. A recent poll found 38 percent of Arizonans would refuse to get the vaccine, even if it was free, and other surveys have found the state’s vaccination rate for children among the lowest in the country.
“In a courtroom, a judge will be looking for the best interests of the child,” Stewart added. “That might include advice from their pediatrician, current recommendations from public health officials or, with older children, their own thoughts.”