Judge Suspends Visitation Unless Father Vaccinated Or Tested

In a decision that will most likely be appealed, a NYC Judge has issued a decision that requires the father and the supervisor of his visitation to be Covid vaccinated or to submit to weekly PCR testing and a rapid test 24 hours prior to visitation with their three year old child.

While the divorce case is not completed, the mother filed a request to suspend the father's parenting time unless he and his supervisor are vaccinated.  There were no allegations that the child was at any higher risk of infection or consequence.  The Court analysis was that since the vaccine was not available for such a young child (at that time the approval for over 5 year old children had not been determined) that unless the father alternatively would agree to be tested  each week and that a rapid test be performed and passed 24 hours prior to an in person visit that it was the father's choice not to have visitation.  The Court did not order vaccination, instead the Court ordered testing as the alternative which the Court stated the father declined due to the "intense marital discord".  

The Court stated that in the past vaccines were viewed as generally a good thing that science was able to provide a prevention to serious disease.  The Court believed that the father had no valid reason to refuse both a vaccine or testing and therefore suspended his in person visits.  Since the father's visits were supervised, the supervisor who was his mother also had to follow the same requirements.  

Whether the father has the resources to appeal is unknown to me, however there are so many people that are anti-vaccine that I think it is highly likely that an appeal will take place and that a request will be made to "stay" (not enforce) the Order until the appeal is decided.  

I wonder will a decision such as this one allow a  divorcing spouse to seek an order excluding the other spouse from the home if they refuse vaccination?  Will the order change if the risk of Covid infection decreases?  Will the order change once the child is vaccinated?  There are many questions that will arise from what I believe is a first decision in New York on this highly current and emotional issue.  If employers and municipalities can suspend employees due to lack of vaccination is this a logical extension of the same idea?

Difficult times make for difficult decisions.