Janssen Law, PLC

Can vaccine disagreements affect custody?

If you are getting a divorce in Iowa and have children, there will be a huge focus on custody. The court may look at many different aspects of your lives to determine who gets custody of the children. If you and your spouse are embroiled in a disagreement over vaccinating your children, it could play into the court's final decision on custody.

According to the National Vaccine Information Center, the general trend of family courts is to side with the parent who is for vaccinating the children. Of course, the circumstances of the disagreement and the past actions will come into play. For example, if your child has had an adverse reaction to a vaccine and has medical documentation of that situation, then the court may side with the parent who is against vaccination because it would be in the best interest of the child. However, if the anti-vaccine ideals are purely based on personal beliefs, then there is less of a chance for the court to side with that parent.

In cases other than medical reasons, arguments over vaccinations should be negotiated between parents. It is possible to decide for a child to get some vaccines and not others. However, you both have to work together to make such decisions before you end up arguing in court. You should also encourage education on vaccines for both yourself and your children's other parent. Getting more information about vaccines can help you to make informed decisions that will benefit your child. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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