Divorced Couples and the COVID Vaccine

In the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have been hit hard, but some families have suffered more intensely, even ending up divorced due to the pandemic and issues related to COVID Vaccine

There may be disagreements and arguments between divorced couples about many things, such as finances, their lifestyle, and their children. Nevertheless, once a marital settlement agreement has been signed (legally divorced), they are obligated to adhere to its provisions. Divorced couples are likely not to have settled their dispute over the COVID vaccine, more specifically whether or not the kids should get it. 

How do divorced couples deal with their disagreements regarding the COVID vaccine?

Suppose one parent wants their children to receive the COVID vaccine and the other parent does not?

Most often, a parent with sole custody or sole decision-making authority should be in charge of major medical issues, including vaccinations. In general, courts favor a parent’s decision that is made in the child’s best interest, unless there is compelling evidence that the decision is otherwise.


Common Parenting Issues Related to COVID-19

Since the start of the pandemic, a number of urgent motions have been heard concerning concerns about parental behavior in relation to COVID protocols and other related matters. 

  • Parental disagreements over whether to send their child to school in person or online have occurred in some cases. 
  • In other cases, one parent may have concerns about the other parent’s lax attitudes toward hygiene, wearing a mask, and/or distance themselves from one another.
  • The risk of harm to a child increases when one parent lives with an elderly relative or if the child suffers from a pre-existing condition. There have been instances in which parents have brought urgent motions to change existing arrangements for parenting, while others have sought to enforce orders when the other parent refuses to comply, citing health concerns.


What is Ontario Court’s Decision on Vaccination and Children

On the other hand, Ontario’s courts also tend to support vaccinations in children. Unless there is some evidence that the vaccine is not in the child’s best interests. For example, when a child is allergic to a component of the vaccine in question. If a parent objects on the basis that there are health risks to the child, the court will require medical evidence from the objecting parent.

Government officials and public health officials have endorsed the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the court. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) strongly recommends vaccination of children because the benefits are well known and outweigh the risks.


What Can I Do if I Do Not Want My Kids Vaccinated?

If your children have a history of prior illness or other health issues making vaccines dangerous for them. Then you can attempt to challenge this decision. However, all signs seem to point towards your failure in this endeavor of winning in court.

It will still be up to the courts to decide the vaccination issue for children. However, it is important before going to court with your former spouse that you consider this analysis.

The vaccine’s safety has been thoroughly reviewed by Health Canada and NACI, so exemptions are rare.

If a parent opposes vaccination against Covid-19 for their child, there are potential risks. As a result, they may be unable to fulfill their parental responsibilities, such as making medical decisions for their children. If there is high conflict between parents, it can result in orders reallocating parental responsibilities.


Tips For Divorced Couples on COVID Vaccine Who Are Sharing Child Custody and Co-Parenting 

  • Stick to the court-ordered parenting schedules as much as possible
  • Maintain structure and routines
  • Reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19
    • Regular hand washing
    • Cleaning and sanitizing frequently touched objects
    • Staying home as much as possible
    • Follow public health guidance if you or your child has COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Keep conflict away from children


Stay Healthy Stay Safe!



At Hussain Law, we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time. If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain at 647-428-3919.


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