Helping Clients Navigate A Course To A Better Future

What if you can’t agree on medical treatment for your child?

After a divorce, it is likely that you and the other parent will share legal custody. What this means is that you will both be able to make decisions about your child’s health care, schooling and other important issues.

When you and your ex can’t agree on issues like vaccination or the kind of medical treatment your child needs or doesn’t need, then it can cause a major rift. It could also land you back into court as you try to make sure your child gets the care they need.

If you want to get your child vaccinated but the other parent doesn’t, what could happen?

It’s important to work out the issue before you make any decision about the steps to take next. Sit down with the other parent and go through the positives and negatives. Be open to listening, and explain why you would like to vaccinate your child.

For example, you may want to get your child vaccinated for school or so that they can go to a summer camp with vaccination requirements. The other parent may not want to vaccinate them because they once had a bad reaction to a vaccine or because it’s not necessary to get the vaccine at this time in the child’s life.

What you don’t want to do is to take your child to get a vaccination without the other parent’s knowledge. It could be dangerous for a child to get vaccinated twice, which could happen if you both make decisions without informing the other parent, and you may end up back in court for ignoring the other parent’s concerns.

A case over the right to make medical decisions for your child could take many months or years to resolve, so it’s really better for you and the other parent to find common ground when possible. If you cannot, then you may want to consider seeking a modification of your custody agreement and asking that you have the sole discretion to make medical decisions for your child. This may take time, but it is an option that you may want to consider.