Chicago Child Vaccination Dispute Lawyers
Disputes among parents over COVID-19 vaccinations have arisen since the vaccine was approved for children ages 12 and older. Now the Pfizer vaccine is approved for anyone age 5 or older in the U.S. Nearly a million children have already received at least one dose, as stated by the Ad Council COVID Collaborate. Situations are becoming increasingly more prevalent in which one parent wants the child vaccinated and the other does not.
In Illinois, child custody is known as allocation of parental responsibilities and divided into two parts Physical allocation refers to who the child lives with and parenting time. Legal allocation refers to which parent has the right to make important decisions for the child, such as whether to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
- In some cases, one parent has sole legal allocation, in which case only that parent has the right to make important decisions for the child.
- In many cases, however, parents have joint legal allocation and must make healthcare decisions for the child together.
COVID-19 vaccination is only one of many possible medical issues on which divorced, or co-parents may not agree. If parents with joint decision making rights cannot reach an agreement on vaccines or other medical treatment, one parent cannot take matters into his or her own hands. The parents may go to mediation in an attempt to resolve the matter out of court. If an agreement cannot be reached, the question of whether to have the child vaccinated must go before the judge for a decision.
The court will consider vaccine information presented by each party. Expert medical journals are among the most compelling evidence. Other matters the court will consider include whether parents have approved of other childhood vaccines in the past and whether they have used regular or modified vaccine schedules. Ultimately, the court may award sole legal allocation to one party if the parents are unable to work together to make joint medical decisions for the child.
Often, a judge will appoint an independent party (guardian ad litem) to act for the child. The guardian ad litem will look at the relevant facts, such as whether the child has siblings, if the child is attending school in person or involved in extracurricular activities, and whether the child is immunocompromised. The court will consider the recommendations of the guardian ad litem in deciding if receiving the vaccine is in the child’s best interests.
Experienced family law lawyers in Chicago can help you make wise and informed decisions in a dispute with the other parent regarding vaccination of your child. First and foremost, the court always considers the best interests of the child. We can help you navigate the relevant state statutes and build a convincing case based on the facts around the best interest factors.
At Nottage and Ward, LLP, our Chicago family law attorneys have more than 30 years of experience. Our firm was founded in 1988. We are focused only on divorce and family law, and we are experts in what we do – negotiating, litigating, and resolving complex custody and financial issues. If you are involved in a dispute with a co-parent regarding vaccination of your child, call us at (312) 332-2915 to speak with us about your situation and your legal rights as a parent.
To learn more, click here.
To learn more, click here.
Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for
Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.
Read More Client Reviews