The subject of whether or not to vaccinate children has so increasingly become a subject of division in households, that in some cases it may be the cause of a divorce. After the fact of divorce, parents who are divided on the issues of vaccination may need a little extra input on how to go about choosing what is best for the health of their children. Knowing just a few angles of Colorado family law regarding immunization of your children could set you ahead in asking the right questions, and getting the answers you need.


With the new school year beginning mid-August, you may have only a few days left to decide your children’s immunization plan. In terms of Colorado family law, the Colorado Board of Health will require your child be vaccinated in order to be allowed to attend school, and it will be necessary to provide a Certificate of Immunization from your doctor to your school. Without the completed and up to date Certificate of Immunization, there is a 14 day grace period following a required notification from your child’s school to make arrangements for the required vaccinations. Otherwise, your decision to forgo vaccination will mean you will have to obtain an official exemption signed by your healthcare provider that the qualifying exemption is medical, religious, or personal.


In the middle of a divorce, or somewhere on the road following one, the decisions regarding these critical timelines can hugely impact your child’s educational career. On these terms, it is always best to work towards solutions through communication and compromise one-on-one with your co-parent for as long as you can. Colorado family law has shown little precedent for court rulings on these matters, but we do have some example of how a court might rule on a case regarding vaccination.

In a landmark immunization case in the Michigan Court of Appeals, between divorced parents Kagan vs. Kagan, (Mich. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2014,) the court’s ruling took a side that favored the advice of the pediatrician, and the outcome of updating vaccine records as prescribed by the state. In another example, families in California wishing to remain exempt from vaccination regulations are taking advantage of the loophole that homeschooling may provide, while they still can.


It can be tough to be on the same page once you split from a partner, but going over the actual Certificate of Immunization as provided by Colorado’s official government website may not be a bad idea to have as a starting point for your child’s health plan with the new school year in sight. Now, don’t forget your child’s vision exams, dental checkups, and physicals.

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