As co-parents, there are going to be times when you don’t agree on things. In some cases, this is relatively unimportant, and you can simply have different opinions. For example, you are not obligated to have the same rules for the children at your house that your ex uses at their house.
But what if it’s something a bit more serious, such as medical care? For example, most pediatricians will recommend that young children get a number of vaccines over the first few years of their lives. These have dramatically reduced infant mortality rates and are generally considered helpful, but not everyone wants their children to have them.
If you and your co-parent disagree on the vaccines that your child should get, what are you supposed to do? Here’s what you should consider:
Do you have shared custody?
The first thing to do is look at your divorce decree and determine if you have shared custody. If you both have legal custody, this means you have decision-making power. You could be granted this right even if the child never lives exclusively with you. Either way, it still means you have a legal right to make those choices, so your ex has to respect that right and can’t simply make their decision on their own.
Can you compromise?
If you do have shared custody, then you and your co-parent are going to have to find a way to compromise or come to a solution. You both have 50% of the decision-making power, so neither one can act without the other.
Of course, if you are staunchly on one side and your ex is on the other side, you may feel that there is no compromise or solution that really fixes this situation. This is why some people have to go to court and have a judge decide. If you find yourself in this sort of situation, it’s quite important for you and your children that you understand all of your parental rights.