Hillary Moonay discusses vaccine disputes between ex-spouses in interview with WHYY
Following her interviews with The Washington Post and TODAY, our Doylestown-based family law partner Hillary Moonay was interviewed by WHYY in connection with the skyrocketing numbers of vaccine disputes between ex-spouses. The article “She wanted to vaccinate their kids. He didn’t. A judge had to decide” by Nina Feldman, published on March 21, 2022, tells the story of Heather and Norm, a separated Pennsylvania couple, who had to decide whether to vaccinate their kids against COVID-19 — Heather was for it; Norm was against. In Pennsylvania, decisions about children’s health must be made jointly by parents with shared legal custody, so the dispute went to court.
Heather and Norm are among hundreds of divorced Pennsylvania parents bringing similar cases to court. Hillary shared that “early in the pandemic, it was about whether parents were taking appropriate masking precautions or with whom a child should stay if a parent was exposed, but once the vaccines were approved for minors, things really took off.”
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and in that time frame, I’ve probably seen two to three cases related to disputes over children getting vaccines,” said Hillary.
Hillary also added that in her experience judges tend to lean heavily on the medical advice of pediatricians and look at the children’s vaccination history in making their decisions. If none of that contradicts the notion that the child should take the vaccine, the judge is likely to recommend it.
“In some cases, we have the evidence to show that because parents have posted things on social media or have spoken out at school board meetings to show that maybe their position is more than what it looks like in court,” Hillary said.