Southern California Family Law Blog

child vaccination

Deciding whether your child should be vaccinated?

One of the most difficult issues in family law is child custody. Whether you and the other parent of your child are married or not, you may be faced with very tough legal problems regarding your child. For instance, you and the other parent may not agree on how much time each of you spend with the child, what type of care should be provided to the child, and many other issues that affect the child’s everyday life.

One topic that is being hotly debated in society right now is the issue of child vaccination. If you and the other parent do not agree on whether your child should be vaccinated or not, this could complicate your child custody case. A child custody battle can already be frustrating and overwhelming for you, and that is why you need the help of an experienced family law attorney to represent you during this complex process.

When dealing with the issue of child vaccination in a child custody matter, you must first understand how child custody is defined. In California, child custody is divided into two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Each type of custody deals with different aspects of how your child is cared for by both parents.

Physical Custody Defined

Physical custody is how much time the child is physically with you and the other parent. The court can order one parent to have primary physical custody of the child, or physical custody can be held “jointly” between the parents. When making this order, the court uses the very broad legal standard of “what is in the best interest of the child.”

If one parent is determined to have primary physical custody of the child, the child is physically with that parent for a majority of the time (more than 50%), and that parent will mostly be responsible for the child’s everyday care and activities.

Although physical custody does not directly deal with the issue of child vaccination, it is very important that you know how it is defined and what it involves.

Legal Custody and Child Vaccination

Legal custody deals with the determination of which parent will be responsible in making the major decisions regarding the child’s welfare. For example, major decisions for the child’s welfare can include what school the child should attend, what extra-curricular activities the child should sign up for and what type of medical care the child should receive.

Similar to physical custody, the court can order one parent to have sole legal custody, or for both parents to be have joint legal custody. Generally, the courts prefer to order joint legal custody, so both parents can share the responsibility of making important decisions for the child’s welfare.  However, if joint legal custody is determined to not be in the child’s best interest, the court has the discretion to give sole legal custody to one parent.

In a child custody case, the decision on whether your child should be vaccinated depends on whether the parents have joint legal custody or if legal custody is held solely by one parent. If you and the other parent have joint legal custody, then the child can only receive vaccinations if both parents agree. If the child receives vaccinations when one of the parents is not in agreement with it, this is a direct violation of a court order and can result in serious consequences for such a violation, including losing custody or visitation rights with your child.

On the other hand, if one parent has sole legal custody, only that parent can decide on whether a child receives vaccinations.  In this situation, the other parent has no say, and the decision whether to vaccinate the child can be made without the other parent’s input.

The Child Custody Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are Ready to Help You

At Wallin & Klarich, we understand that going through a child custody case is difficult. The laws regarding child custody are complex and there are many factors that go into determining who will be awarded custody of your child. For this reason, it is important that you seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney immediately to help you prepare for your child custody case. Our knowledgeable attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients in child custody cases. Let us help you today.

With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, our skilled attorneys are available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

Can My Child Decide to Skip Visitation Time? (Family Code 3042)

Family Code 3042 provides that the court must consider a child’s preference and wishes in determining child custody rights. However, the child must be of sufficient age and have capacity to make an intelligent decision for 3042 to apply. But what exactly does that mean?

Can a Child Skip Visitation Time?

Visitation rights are determined based on the best i… Continue Reading.......

Documenting Your Divorce: How to Properly Prepare

People who have gone through a divorce will tell you this: It is a hard day when you realize that your marriage is past the point where it can be saved. Dealing with this hard truth is a mentally and emotionally draining moment, but it is only the first in many challenges ahead. You will need to act quickly so that you protect your rights, and one of the first steps yo… Continue Reading.......

Can I Take My Child to Church Without the Other Parent’s Permission?

After a divorce, issues often arise surrounding the child and parents’ religion and their right to bring their child to their chosen house of worship. It is important to know what religious rights you have with your child and to respect the other’s rights as well.

Taking Your Child to Your House of Worship

Generally, the First Amendment protects a child… Continue Reading.......

Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATROs) in Divorce Case (Family Code 2040)

Automatic Temporary Retraining Orders (or “ATROs”) are judicial orders that automatically take effect when one spouse files for divorce, annulment, or legal separation. These orders prevent both spouses from taking certain actions with regards to the couple’s children or joint assets. An ATRO will not take affect until one spouse receives the s… Continue Reading.......

The Importance of Making a Child Custody and Visitation Modification Into a Court Order – Family Code Section 3022

When you and the other parent of your child want to modify a child custody and visitation order, it is important you make any and all modifications into a valid court order. A knowledgeable and experienced Orange County child custody attorney from can help ensure that the changes you make to your child custody and visitation order are accurately and proper… Continue Reading.......