Can I Give My Child The COVID-19 Vaccine If My Ex-Spouse Does Not Agree?

Because of COVID, or the COVID vaccine, division has been created between parents who are co-parenting on the decision of whether or not to vaccinate their children. This has been a point of contention we had to deal with at the onset of COVID, whether or not the parents would allow the other spouse to continue to have visitations because of COVID, the children were not allowed out of the home. NOW IT HAS EVOLVED TO THE VACCINE.

One parent wants to give the vaccine and the other parent does not. There are two positions that the parents take: One parent is very, very excited to give the vaccine and the other parent is adamant that they do not want the vaccine given.

 Another point of contention is which vaccine to give if the parents do agree on vaccinating the children. We have three vaccines to choose from and I have seen cases where the parents are deciding and arguing about what vaccine would be best for the child.

The general rule is that if there’s no court order that is in place, either parent can unilaterally decide to vaccinate their child, whether the parents are married or not. However, if there is a parenting order that gives the parents joint legal custody of their child, and they do not agree on whether or not their child should be immunized, then parents must either come to an agreement together, or the court will have to make the ultimate decision.

In any case that involves children where the court is involved, it will always be going to look at what is in the best interest of the children. The court will probably look at each parent’s reasons for and against the vaccination, whether the family has any specific health risks issues that they need to consider, whether the children’s school mandates vaccines or not, or encourages it strongly. The child’s extracurricular activities and if there are requirements to be vaccinated for the child to continue with these.

Lastly, I think the court will probably look at getting opinions from expert medical personnel before they make the decision such as talking to the child’s pediatrician, to see what their position is on this very hot topic.

 CONCLUSION: If you can decide whether to vaccinate your child unilaterally, it might still be a good idea for you to discuss this with your ex-spouse, to be sure that they are in the loop. And if you are sharing joint custody please be sure to get their consent before vaccinating your child to avoid any unnecessary litigation, okay?

I hope this has answered this question and has addressed a lot of the topics that we have been dealing with now in regards to COVID. If you want to discuss this further, please go to I’ll be more than happy to sit down with you to discuss this further.