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divorced dad child custody lawyerAs divorced parents, you and your ex may not see eye to eye on a variety of issues, including those related to your children’s health and the medical care they receive. Vaccinations are one issue that can sometimes cause disputes. While the ongoing rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is currently the most prominent example, parents may also need to address the standard immunizations that children receive. If you and your ex disagree about whether your children should be vaccinated, you will want to understand your rights and the steps that you may need to take to resolve this issue.

Parental Responsibility for Health Care Decisions

Most of the time, divorced parents will share legal custody of their children. This means they will both have the right and responsibility to make decisions related to issues such as the education and medical care the children will receive. However, in some cases, one parent may have sole or primary responsibility when it comes to decisions about the children’s medical needs. In these situations, that parent will usually have the final say about whether children will be vaccinated, although the other parent may take legal action to address this issue if they believe their children’s health and well-being are at risk.

If you and your ex have equal responsibility in medical decisions for your children and you disagree about vaccinations, you may be able to work these issues out between yourselves and reach a decision about what would be best for your children. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, you may need to go to court and ask a judge to make a decision on the issue. In these cases, a judge may consider a variety of factors, such as testimony from medical experts about whether children should or should not be vaccinated, the parents’ religious beliefs, and each parent’s level of involvement in addressing their children’s medical issues.

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divorced dad attorney children's health COVID-19While the coronavirus pandemic has affected us all, the ongoing rollout of vaccines has provided some hope that there is an end in sight to this difficult situation. Even though it may still be several months before vaccines become available to many people, planning to address these issues can help families minimize their risks. While parents will want to determine how to handle vaccinations for themselves and their children, divorced parents may face additional complications when addressing these issues. Since they will want to be sure they, their children, and their extended family members will be protected from potential infections, parents will want to work with each other to determine how to approach vaccinations while also keeping each other informed about health issues that may affect their children.

Vaccinations for Parents and Other Family Members

While COVID-19 vaccines are currently being distributed, the limited quantities available mean that certain people will have priority for receiving vaccinations. Currently, health care workers are being vaccinated, since they are at the highest risk of exposure. People who are at the highest risk of suffering severe illness due to a COVID-19 infection are also being prioritized, including the elderly and people who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that people receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them. While receiving the vaccine will provide a person with protection, everyone should continue to follow the CDC’s recommendations for preventing the spread of infection, including wearing masks, staying at least six feet away from others, avoiding crowded or poorly-ventilated areas, and washing their hands frequently.

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divorced dad holiday plans during COVID-19The holiday season is upon us, but in 2020, it may look different than it ever has before. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in many families’ plans, and as a divorced dad, it could potentially make the season very difficult for you. You may already be struggling to adjust to the reduced amount of time you are able to spend with your kids after getting divorced, and you’re probably not looking forward to more isolation during a time when you normally spend time with friends and family. Fortunately, by following these tips, you can be prepared for the holidays, protect your family’s safety, and make the most of this time:

  1. Make plans for holiday get-togethers - Many families are choosing to forego their usual plans to meet up for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other holidays. If you choose to do so, you can still make arrangements to be together by holding a family Zoom call. If you do plan to meet in person, be sure to follow the CDC’s recommendations for safety, including wearing a mask, keeping a six-foot distance from those who do not live in your home, washing your hands often, bringing your own food and drinks, and using disposable food containers, plates, and utensils.

  2. Find virtual alternatives to holiday traditions - You may usually enjoy holiday activities outside of your home with your kids, but this may not be possible right now, so you’ll want to find ways to participate in these traditions without leaving your home. For example, rather than visiting Santa at the local mall, you could make arrangements to hold a video call with a friend or family member who plays the part.

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Dad's divorce law2020 is not an easy time to be a parent. This is especially true for divorced or divorcing fathers. Whether you have lost your job or suffered financial setbacks, are working from home, or need to maintain regular contact with the public, you may be struggling with the ever-present health risks and uncertainty about the future. Issues related to your children can add to your stress, and you may worry about your kids’ safety if they are attending school in person, or you may be concerned about your ability to provide the help they need if they are learning at home.

As you deal with these ongoing issues, it is important to understand that you are not alone. Parents throughout the United States are currently struggling to help meet their children’s educational needs. Surveys have shown that more than half of parents are managing children’s remote learning activities while also working either inside or outside the home. It is understandable for parents to feel uncertain about their ability to help their children with ongoing schoolwork, and taking on these responsibilities in addition to their regular jobs and household duties can lead to a great deal of stress.

As you work to balance your children’s needs with your own mental health and other concerns, you will want to understand how you can deal with stress and make the best of a difficult situation. Here are some tips for how you can take care of yourself and continue being the best dad you can be:

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Dad's Divorce LawyersFor many parents, fall represents a time when strict routines kick in after a more relaxed summer. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has caused many families to be worried about children’s safety while they are in school. This is especially true for parents who are separated or divorced, and dads who share custody of their kids may be concerned about the safety procedures followed and the methods used to minimize the risks of infection. Fortunately, divorced fathers can work to put their minds at ease while ensuring that their children will receive a good education by doing the following:

Review School Safety Procedures

Your first priority will likely be to understand what your children’s school is doing to protect the health and safety of students and their families. Experts have recommended that schools enforce social distancing by keeping students’ desks spaced apart, holding classes outdoors when possible, enforcing one-way traffic in hallways, and grouping students and teachers into “cohorts” that stay together throughout each school day. Masks should be required at all times (aside from lunch), and students and teachers should wash their hands and clean surfaces regularly. Schools may also minimize contact between students by reducing class sizes through the use of staggered schedules in which students spend some days at school and some days learning at home.

Cooperate to Help Kids Learn at Home 

In many cases, children will be on an alternating schedule where they spend some days at school and some days at home. However, parents may decide to keep children away from school altogether during the pandemic, requiring them to do schoolwork from home full-time. Whatever approach your family will be taking, you will want to work together with your ex to figure out the best ways to meet your children’s needs. This may involve one of you working from home so you can supervise your kids during the day, or you may use babysitters or get help from extended family members to make sure your kids are completing their schoolwork and receiving any assistance they need while they are at home.

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Divorce during COVID-19The COVID-19 crisis has had a huge impact on all of our lives. Even if you haven’t been directly affected by an infection, you’ve probably had to deal with inconveniences due to being required to stay at home or maintain social distancing. In the worst cases, people have lost their jobs, been unable to make rent or mortgage payments, or suffered devastating losses due to the illness or death of family members. Along with all of these other concerns, many people’s marriages have been pushed to the breaking point or beyond due to the stresses and difficulties they are experiencing. If you’re considering getting divorced, you may need to deal with some issues and concerns that you wouldn’t have to address in other circumstances. During the divorce process, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:

  1. Figure out how to separate while sharing a home - Moving out of your home and finding new living arrangements might be difficult right now. Due to concerns about infections, you may not want to visit potential new houses or apartments, or you may simply be unable to afford to move because of your financial situation. However, sharing a home with your spouse might seem impossible when your relationship has broken down. You may want to agree that each of you will mostly stay in your own separate areas of your house, and you could create schedules for when each of you will use shared areas such as the kitchen or family room. By figuring out how to make things work while you continue to live together, you can avoid conflicts and arguments and decrease stress during an already difficult time.

  2. Determine court procedures - Currently, many courts have closed or are operating at limited capacity to avoid spreading infections. However, courts will typically be able to address emergency issues, such as domestic violence or orders of protection, if the need arises. As you proceed with the divorce process, you’ll need to understand how procedures might have changed. In some cases, courts might hold virtual hearings, allowing you to address matters without actually entering the courtroom. Your divorce lawyer can help you understand what steps you’ll need to take as you go through the divorce process.

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