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Can the Court (or the Other Parent) Force Me to Get My Child Vaccinated?

You can count on our experienced Monmouth, NJ family law attorneys to protect your rights as a parent in making decisions on behalf of your child.

As a parent, your primary concern is protecting your children. Unfortunately, in cases of divorce or when couples are unmarried, this could put you at odds with others involved. This is particularly true when it comes to matters impacting your child’s health and well-being. Controversy over the COVID-19 raises complex issues about child custody and whether the court or the other parent can force actions that you are fundamentally against.

Controversy Over Child Vaccines

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country was divided over whether lockdowns, stay-home orders, and mask mandates protected public safety or infringed on individual rights while negatively impacting the economy. In December 2020, COVID-19 vaccines were introduced, creating additional controversy. This was largely due to the fact that they were quickly released under an emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), rather than going through the usual process of approval. 

While Becker’s Hospital Review estimates that 85% of New Jersey residents have received the vaccination, there is still a vocal minority that refuses to do so. Some of these fall into the category of ‘anti-vaxxers,’ people who are opposed to getting their child any type of vaccine. Their concerns focus on:

Your Rights in Determining Whether Your Child Gets Vaccinated

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends anyone over the age of 12 gets the COVID-19 vaccine, it is a personal decision. The same is true with other types of childhood vaccinations, although not getting them can create problems when registering your child for school or other activities. Can the court force you to get your child vaccinated? Generally, it depends on your reasons for abstaining: 

In child custody cases, legal custody is also an issue. This gives one or both parents the right to make decisions impacting the child, such as in regards to religious upbringing, education, or medical care, including whether or not to have them vaccinated. If you are not granted legal custody or differ from the other parent in terms of your views, you may be facing a legal battle to defend your beliefs.

Discuss Your Options with Our Monmouth County Family Law Attorneys

At Lomurro Law, we are dedicated to protecting your rights as a parent. When disputes impacting your child’s well-being arise, get our legal team on your side. To discuss your options, contact our Monmouth County, NJ family law attorneys and request a consultation today.