The movement that opposes childhood vaccinations has a rather large following. Most people take a stance firmly on one side of the issue, which creates a serious divide between anti-vaxxers and those who support vaccines.

If you are in a custody fight for your children and the other parent is an anti-vaxxer, you may wonder if you can use this in your case as proof of why you should get custody. To use it, you would need to show it is neglect, but the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains it is very difficult to label the refusal of vaccinations as neglect.

Medical neglect

Not giving a child vaccinations could potentially be found neglectful by the court because medical neglect is when a parent creates a situation in which their child’s health is at risk due to not providing proper medical care. Not giving a child vaccinations puts that child at risk of getting the diseases that vaccines protect against.

The issue is that while it does put the child at risk, it does not guarantee the child will get sick. It also may not meet the requirements of neglect that would make a court see the other parent as harming the child.

Limiting intervention

You may try to talk with child protective services about the issue. They can provide more insight into the state’s position about vaccination refusal. This is a hot button issue currently, and courts seem widely divided on whether to intervene or to allow parents the right to refuse vaccines. So, it may be difficult to base your case on this topic alone.