What do I do if my ex-partner doesn’t agree that our child should be vaccinated?

The Government Covid 19 vaccination scheme has now been rolled out for children aged 5 to 17 years old.

Differences in parenting styles and opinions between parents as to whether a child should be vaccinated or not could lead to conflict.

Where parents, or other adults, share parental responsibility for a child the decision whether to vaccinate or not should be made jointly.

If it is not possible to reach an agreement one parent should not act unilaterally in situations where important decisions regarding the welfare of the child are concerned.

Vaccines and Court Orders

In such situations in the absence of agreement the parent seeking the vaccination of the child should not act without specific approval of the Court.

It is open to both or either parent to make an application to the Court regarding the specific issue in dispute.

The Court will need to balance the views of both parents whilst having in mind at all times what is in the overall best interests of the child. The Court’s paramount consideration in any application under The Children’s Act 1989 is “the best interest of the child” the Court will apply the welfare checklist in s1 of the Children’s Act 1989 and each case will be determined on the specific issues raised by the parents and the circumstances of each child.

When considering whether an application to Court is necessary consideration should be given to whether an agreement could be reached via solicitor negotiations, mediation or a combination of both.

It is always preferable to attempt to reach an agreement where possible in order to avoid litigation. However, currently, where there is a dispute between parents over an issue such as whether their child should be vaccinated against Covid 19, an application will need to be made. If an application is made it is unlikely that the Court will decide against a vaccination being administered to the child unless there is strong evidence that it would not be in the best interests of the child.

Specialist legal advice

If you are currently in dispute in respect of this or any other matter relating to children then please do not hesitate to contact our specialist team of family lawyers to discuss your matter in confidence on 0191 691 3418 or request a callback.

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