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NSW How Does Family Court View Immunisation for Children?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by LeeM, 29 February 2016.

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  1. LeeM

    LeeM Active Member

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    Hello all,

    Where does the family court sit these days with immunisation?

    My kids (12 & 10) haven't been immunised. I have tried, however, my ex refused to give permission. She went to an Anti-Immunization seminar once, 10 years ago. Beyond that, she hasn't produced any reasons or evidence to why it shouldn't be done.

    We are in family court currently about custody. How will they view her refusal and do they tend to approve it if one parent wants to go ahead? (No allergies or other illnesses are evident in the kids)
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    I reckon it could contribute towards proving she is a nutter. But legally, it is a bit of a dicey one.

    Just out of interest, do you have legal representation?
     
  3. LeeM

    LeeM Active Member

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    Yes to having legal rep. Seems good so far as all as explained has occurred.

    It's nice getting other opinions, though - I didn't feel prepared enough (me, personally) before the last hearing as most things I read were general advice / laws. The good thing about this forum is that you get some "real life" examples.

    I'm guessing with the recent government push for immunisation, it will become a bigger topic in family court.
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    So you can seek sole parental responsibility for medical stuff on the grounds that you're in dispute about the immunisations, but yep, I reckon it helps the magistrate see that yes, there is conflict between you and the ex, but that is because she is crazy.
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine recently went through proceedings for a parenting matter, and the dispute about immunisations came up. The mother didn't want them done, the father did, and the father's lawyer simply told him to go and get them done, whether the mother agreed or not. Without confirming anything, it's my understanding the court put close to no weight on it, and the father ended up with 60/40 regardless.

    If the dispute is about time spent with and not about shared parental responsibility, then the court is unlikely to put a great deal of weight on the medical decisions made by the respective parties because those parties have already agreed about how those decisions are made, even if they don't always agree about them. The thing that does come up in proceedings is whether the parties have consulted with each other about these matters.

    If you don't talk to the mother at all and just do whatever you please, then you might have issues, but if you've tried to consult with the mother about the immunisations and she has refused to engage the conversation, then your next step is to do what you believe is in the best interests of the children. In this case, I would say that immunising your kids can definitely be defended before the court as what's in their best interests, and to put another spin on it, doesn't it seem unruly to not vaccinate them simply because you're scared about how it impacts your case? Time with your kids won't count for much if they end up infected with measles, eh?

    Will you cop some heat from the mother? Sure, but what's she going to do about it? Unvaccinate them? Tell the court that her decisions about the kids' health is more important than your decisions about the kids' health? Tell the court she knows better than an overwhelming plethora of scientific evidence supporting vaccinations for kids?

    If it were me, I would get them vaccinated whether the other parent agreed or not. The existence of proceedings certainly shouldn't pose a risk to the kids' health, and the mother will look nuts making a song and dance in front of the court about how terrible a parent you are for getting the kids vaccinated.

    But that's just my view.
     
  6. LeeM

    LeeM Active Member

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    I think I'll wait until the next hearing which is very, very soon and see what the tone is like - the topic will be raised, so we will see.

    Interesting point though - whenever a parent wants to make a decision about something but gets opposed by the other parent, then, that means that nothing will ever happen or the parent who says no always gets their way.

    (Yes - What's best for the kids should always be what governs. Very hard when the other side always opposes for the sake of it. I should try reverse psychology but since it's about my kids, not worth the risk)
     

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