How To Handle Separated Parents Disagreement On Child Vaccination in Mississauga

Separated Parents

Separated parents may face a conflict due to more pressure to vaccinate children in Ontario. It becomes a matter of family law if one disagrees with having their child vaccinated against COVID-19.

Some parents are against vaccines because of the risks involved, however small, and because children aren’t necessarily in need of vaccines the same way as older members of society. When vaccinations first became available, children were not considered for vaccination. At the time, not vaccinating your child was understood for various reasons. Since we’ve seen different strains of COVID-19 being spread in schools, the government has declared that vaccines for kids outweigh the risks.

What Can You Do If One Parent Disagrees On Vaccines

Even though most separated parents can negotiate and resolve many conflicts without involving a divorce lawyer, vaccines are a significant concern for many people. When a child can either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or not, it’s hard to come up with a compromise. There is no middle ground.

Vaccinating a child is up to a parent with sole custody. An opposing parent can bring a lawsuit, however. If separated parents who share custody cannot resolve their differences, the court may be the only option.

Court Decisions in Mississauga Dealing With Separated Parents And Vaccines

If you have a legal conflict between separated parents over vaccinations for your child, the legal parameters that will be applied will be those in your child’s best interest. There have been many cases similar to this one that have been dealt with on a case-by-case basis in the past.

A pre-pandemic vaccine issue arose in the case of C.M.G. v. D.W.S. 2015 ONSC 2201. The mother did not want her child vaccinated before going abroad, while the father did. In addition to using Canada’s public health guidelines that recommend vaccinations for children in most cases, the court used expert testimony from the father to determine that vaccinations were in the child’s best interest.

Tarkowski v. Lemieux, 2020 ONCJ 280, is another case in which the child’s father wanted to have the sole right to decide whether the child should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Although at the time, there was no vaccine available for children, the father wanted permission to overrule the mother’s wishes in the event of the vaccine becoming available to children. Again, the courts ruled in favour of the mother’s decision to vaccinate her child, pointing to the mother’s lack of trust in Western medicine, her refusal to get routine vaccinations in the past, and the low risk of severe adverse reactions among children to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Consistently, the courts rule in accordance with public health guidelines in cases like these and those regarding different issues relating to separated parents disagreeing on a health issue. This is unless a party presents evidence that says vaccination is not in the child’s best interest. A child could be at risk of taking a vaccine if they have an underlying condition that is more likely to be affected by it. Alternatively, the child can be denied vaccination if they had an adverse reaction to vaccines in the past. It is reasonable to think that a separated parent might argue if there was enough evidence to suggest that the vaccine was not recommended for a specific type of condition or a particular child.

Consult A Family Lawyer On Parental Disagreements for Vaccinations in Children

You can contact a family law lawyer if you and your separated partner disagree on the matter of whether your child should be vaccinated against COVID-19. If they take the time to listen to your unique circumstances, they can offer legal advice to you and ultimately answer your questions about taking separated parents’ conflicts with vaccinations to court.

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Written by: the Divorce Fast Team

Our team of Ontario lawyers has over 15 years of experience handling divorce and other family law matters.

All of our lawyers are in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario, and have the knowledge and experience to help and guide you through your family law issues. Whether your matter pertains to divorce, separation, custody/access, or support claims, we are the firm for you.

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