Co-parenting in the most amicable of divorces poses challenges; now consider parents who don’t see eye-to-eye on essential aspects of their child(ren)s lives, and the challenges become harder to overcome.

Today, our country stands divided on whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes widely available and likewise, parents stand divided on whether or not their children should be vaccinated.  So, what do you do if you and your ex or soon-to-be-ex can’t agree upon certain major aspects of raising and parenting your children?

When a couple gets divorced, their child custody arrangements typically include provisions directing things such as residential custody and decision-making authority.  Sometimes the decisions are easy, and sometimes they are more complicated, such as making a medical decision about vaccinations.

As parents, the first thing you should do if any conflict arises is to consult each other and attempt to come to an agreement.  This is true even if one of the parents holds the decision-making power in a particular area of the child’s life, such as medical or education.  Sitting down like two adults will result in a much smoother process for everyone involved.

If the parties have joint legal custody and cannot come to a mutual decision, their agreement may provide that they seek the advice of a third party expert – for example, the child’s pediatrician if it is a medical issue such as a vaccine or that they go to a “parent coordinator” – usually a mental health expert who assists the parties in arriving at a compromise.

If the parents who have joint custody still can’t come to an agreement, then they may have to head to court, where a judge will make a determination based upon what is in the best interests of the child(ren).

The best way to deal with any custody issue is to try and come to an amicable resolution.  If you need legal advice to navigate your situation, give our office a call.