Now that the FDA has approved the emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15, the possibility of vaccinating your child might become a conversation between you and your co-parent. If you have found yourself in a situation where you and your co-parent do not agree on the decision to vaccinate or not vaccine your child, you might be on the search for answers. Who has the legal say in what happens regarding this decision? Continue reading to discover your rights regarding co-parenting and vaccines and discover the difference between shared legal custody and sole legal custody when making decisions regarding the Covid-19 vaccination. Reach out to our experienced family law attorney today to discuss our services and how we can assist your legal process.

What are your rights regarding co-parenting and vaccines?

To discover your rights regarding co-parenting and the Covid-19 vaccine, the answer to your question can be found within your custody agreement. Depending on your custody agreement, and which type of custody you hold, you can find your rights regarding the choice of vaccinating your child. When deciding on the custody of your children in divorce, you will make a decision on legal custody which pertains to a parent’s right to make decisions on their child’s behalf regarding religious upbringing, medical decisions, education, and more. Legal custody will also cover the right to making decisions regarding vaccinations. When legal custody is shared or sole, co-parents will have the ability to go to mediation or court regarding a disagreement over vaccinations. They will have the issue resolved in mediation or court.

Co-parents have shared legal custody:

In the instance that co-parents disagree on vaccinating their child and they share legal custody, they have the opportunity to work through their differences on their own with input from their child’s pediatrician as well as other sources. However, if this is not possible, the objecting parent could request mediation that will help both parents work out a solution. If a compromise can’t be reached, the co-parents might look into going to court. The courts will evaluate what is in the best interest of the child.

One parent has sole legal custody:

If a parent with sole legal custody has changed their opinion on vaccines drastically and is vehemently anti-vaccine, it is possible that courts might view this as a substantial change in circumstances that could potentially place the child at risk. They may consider a motion to modify legal custody from sole to shared legal custody.


If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in Rumson, Monmouth County, or anywhere in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.