When parents share legal custody, unless otherwise ruled in a court of law, parents share equal say in a child’s medical decisions and care. So, if one parent is for immunizations and another is not then a strange conundrum ensues.
Kansas has made a COVID-19 vaccine available to children 12 -22 years old beginning in June of 2021. Parents have been able to choose whether to get their child vaccinated. In Kansas most schools and daycares mandate mask wearing to attend their facilities. In Kansas immunization requires a waiver, if one parent should sign said waiver and the other does not, this would lead to a sticky situation in a court of law.
Parents who are at odds over the vaccine tend to be motivated by the same ultimate desire: to protect the best interests of their child/children. Though overcoming differences of opinion about the vaccine is no easy feat, there are constructive actions parents can take to try to get on the same page. These include:
- Explaining your position to the opposing parent. In Kansas the Pfizer vaccine will take an initial dose and again three weeks later. Thus, having support of both parents would be more effective for proper immunization. Open communication and focusing on your child’s best interest will promote a positive dialog. Both parents should be in a safe place to speak about their feelings and present logically sound supporting evidence.
- Seeking Mediation: If these interactions between parents prove to be hostile or problematic seeking a neutral mediator to discuss these issues may be best for your personal situation. Mediators in Kansas and Missouri can be retired Judges, Attorneys (who have been practicing for greater than ten year), and certified counselors. Mediators will need licensed certification and have extensive training in negotiations and conflict dee-escalation.
- Asking Your Child About Their Feelings: Include your child’s feelings in the discussion. Children in their teenage years may have their own opinions and questions related to their health or may want to receive or avoid the vaccine. If your child should want to be included in their medical health this would be the perfect time to do so.
- Seeking Legal Representation: If a decision cannot be met and your co-parent will not budge, you may have to seek legal assistance. Divorced or separated parents who share custody of their child may go to court and ask a judge to make a decision that is best for the child.
The family law attorneys at Barnds Law LLC in Overland Park, Kansas assist parents through conflicts over child medical care and other related issues regarding custody, and time. Contact us today at 913-514-0909.