Most co-parents after a divorce share their children’s joint legal custody. This means for key decisions related to the child’s upbringing, they are expected to consult each other and do what is in the best interests of the child. This includes making medical decisions for the child, including vaccinating them against Covid-19. Seasoned mediators suggest a few things co-parents can do to navigate this sensitive issue.
Respect the Other Parent’s Concerns about Vaccination
According to divorce mediation specialists, a good starting point for co-parents would be understand why they might disagree on vaccinating their child, and keep an open mind about each other’s viewpoint and concerns. That opens the doors to exploring whether a compromise can be reached on this critical matter to protect the child’s health.
If one parent has reservations about a particular vaccine for the child, they can look at the alternative choices that both co-parents are comfortable with. If the child’s young age is a concern for one parent, perhaps they can arrive at a decision that the child will receive vaccine after a certain number of months or by his or her next birthday.
Sometimes a parent may have concerns about the child’s general health or a particular medical condition. In this case, the co-parents could visit a family physician they both trust to seek their professional opinion on what is the right course of action in their situation. The child’s pediatrician may be the ideal person to guide them because they would know the child’s medical history.
Focus on the Child’s Best Interests
Covid-19, or the Wuhan virus, vaccine for children is too critical a subject to be ignored just because the co-parents may have serious personal differences or do not trust each other’s judgment. This is the time to set aside your own differences or anger over something, and turn the focus on what is in your child’s best interests.
In addition to the child’s health protection, co-parents should consider whether the child’s school might require students to be vaccinated if they want to attend physical classes. Similarly, they should look at the vaccine related rules that may be imposed by certain sports or hobby clubs that are vital to the child’s personal interests as well as their physical and emotional well-being.
Consider Post-Divorce Mediation to Resolve the Issue
If you and the other parent are unable to agree on your child’s Covid-19 vaccination despite the pediatrician’s opinion, you should consider the path of post-divorce mediation to find a quick and dependable resolution. An experienced mediator will facilitate a meaningful discussion based on hard facts, and help both parents find common ground to resolve this critical issue.
The mediator may also review your child custody agreement and explain the specific provisions it may contain related to medical decisions for the child. Unlike litigation, mediation is a non-adversarial, informal process that gives the control to the participants about what they want to decide. The mediator will play a neutral role and help both parties engage in a constructive dialogue for the sake of the child’s best interests.
In some cases, a co-parent may want the child custody agreement modification, which is also possible through the mediation process. A dedicated mediator will help divorced parents recognize that they cannot avoid each other as long as they have the joint legal custody of their minor children. Therefore, resolving post-divorce conflicts amicably through mediation is the best option where children are involved.
To discuss your best options regarding child custody and vaccination, speak to our highly rated mediators at Advanced Mediation Solutions. Call us today at 856-669-7172 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.