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Many Parents Plan to Wait on COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids



New research shows that many parents are hesitant about getting their children vaccinated for COVID-19, a development that highlights some of the difficult questions that the pandemic has raised for divorced parents in Michigan and across the country.

Less than one-third (29%) of parents of kids under the age of 18 who the Kaiser Family Health Foundation surveyed said they would get their children inoculated “right away.” Another 32% said they want to see how the vaccine is working before their kids get the shot.

An additional 15% said their kids would be vaccinated only if required by schools, while 19% said their children would not be vaccinated. The survey results could have significant public health implications as officials urge people to get the shot and combat the spread of the virus.

“It’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, for us to reach herd immunity unless our children are also vaccinated,” Dr. Leana Wen told CNN.

The vaccination debate also spotlights some of the tough decisions that divorced parents have made due to the pandemic. Who gets to make those decisions? It depends on the child custody arrangement. 

There are two types of child custody in Michigan. Physical custody determines with whom the child lives, while legal custody determines who gets to make decisions about the child’s care and upbringing, including choices regarding education and healthcare.  Both types of custody can be awarded solely to one parent or shared by the parents.

A parent with sole legal custody has full authority to decide whether a child is vaccinated. The parents must make the decision together, however, if they share legal custody. That can lead to serious disputes over whether a kid gets the shot, which may ultimately need to be decided by a judge.

The good news is that a seasoned family law attorney can often help parents resolve these and other issues without a long, drawn-out, and expensive court battle. At Kraayeveld Law, our Grand Rapids family lawyers help people explore every opportunity to resolve these matters without litigation whenever possible, including by exploring alternatives like mediation and negotiated settlements.

How a Grand Rapids Family Lawyer Can Help

If you are locked in a dispute with a former spouse or co-parent over-vaccination and/or other issues in Michigan, a Grand Rapids family lawyer at Kraayeveld Law can help you understand your rights and options and resolve the situation.

We help people efficiently untangle their marriages and resolve a wide range of related issues, including child custody, visitation, and support, as well as alimony and asset division. A Grand Rapids family lawyer at our firm will take the time to understand your unique needs and craft a legal strategy tailored to your specific goals.

Call 616-285-0808 or contact us online to make an appointment to speak with a Grand Rapids family lawyer about your situation.