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Child Custody and Vaccination Decisions

Vaccination is a Joint Decision

As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be released for people under the age of 18, questions of whether or not to get the vaccine still linger. This question is particularly important for parents with legal custody over their child. Deciding whether vaccination is right for your child is a personal decision, but who gets to make that decision depends on certain factors.

Medical Decisions Under Legal Custody

Medical decisions fall under a legal custody decision, which gives a parent the responsibility to make decisions on behalf of a child on issues such as medical issues, after-school activities, and religious participation.

It is very common to find that many parents are given joint legal custody over a child, meaning both parents have the right to make decisions on the child’s behalf. Neither parent is given superior rights over the other parent’s decision-making ability, meaning there can often be battles regarding these types of decisions.

It is important to review your custody agreement if you are unsure of your responsibilities and rights as a parent.

Working Out an Arrangement

In disputes over medical issues such as vaccinations, people can have a number of different reasons for why they believe what they do. If two parents disagree on whether or not vaccination is the correct decision, one possible solution is to try and work out some type of agreement on whether or not their child will receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This can be done with the help of a family law attorney that understands custody agreements and negotiation.

Going to Court

If parents are unable to come to a solution regarding vaccination, the other option is to pursue legal action in court. A recent Iowa Court of Appeals decision acknowledged that the court can make a decision on this issue. If this is the case, it is wise to hire a child custody attorney to fight in court. As is true in custody cases, a judge will make a determination based on what is in the best interests of the child.

Hire an Iowa Attorney

Vaccinating your child, along with many other medical issues, is a big decision to make, and should you and your ex disagree then you have the right to pursue a solution. Family Law Solutions of Iowa has helped many parents in custody cases and wants to do the same for you.


Contact our team of Iowa custody attorneys today at (515) 305-3474 or visit us online to schedule a consultation.

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