Custody Can I Vaccinate My Child Without Permission from My Ex?

As Chicago child custody lawyers, we are getting a lot of these questions lately about being able to vaccinate a child without permission from the other parent. There is no easy answer to this question. Whether you need permission from your ex to vaccinate your child will be found in your parenting order.

Violating a Court Order When Your Vaccinate Without Permission?

You might have already agreed with your ex that medical decisions will be made jointly. Or that one or the other has the sole decision making regarding medical decisions. Even if your ex has sole decision making for medical, if you believe that your ex isn’t acting in your child’s best interest, you can bring the matter to the court.

Taking a Vaccination Case to Court

I had my case law research ready in addition to his research. I had an expert prepared to take the stand and I was prepared to argue the case Troxel v. Granville. (For those of you who want to read the full court’s opinion, just give me a call, but it is at 530 U.S. 57 (2000). This case gives parents a constitutional right to the care, custody, and control over their children. This is a fundamental right and in a family law court, we presume that parents will act in their child’s best interest.

But what do you do when both parents have that same fundamental right?

Each parent is presumed to be acting in their child’s best interest and there isn’t much middle ground on the subject. You cannot be “kind of vaccinated.” It is a lot like being pregnant. You either are or you aren’t.
There isn’t much middle ground.

Should Courts Allow a Child to be Vaccinated or Not?

Serious Endangerment to the Child

We see a lot of parenting disagreements and when one parent wants to impose their will on the other parent, it is difficult. I’ve had the “health food” parent against the “junk food” parent, or the parent who doesn’t have a regular bed schedule vs. the parent who strictly makes the child go to bed at 8:00 p.m. Those issues seem easy in light of the medical decision to vaccinate or not to vaccinate.

Many cases fall under this umbrella of serious endangerment which is easy for the court to determine. Sexual abuse of a minor easy falls under this statute taking away a parent’s right to see or make decisions for their child. A case where a custodial parent suffers from a mental illness and refuses medication to correct their behavior has also fallen into this category. I was prepared to argue this statute and the case was quickly decided.

Serious Endangerment Not to Vaccinate?

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