Kelly Clarkson’s Divorce Brings Family Court Battles Over Vaccinating Kids Against COVID-19 Into Spotlight


Kelly Clarkson has quite the impeccable sense of style, showcasing quite a bit of her flair off in her many appearances on television.



In March, former American Idol winner turned mega-star and talk show host Kelly Clarkson settled her bitter divorce from Brandon Blackstock.



While most details of the agreement, like the parties’ property division, Clarkson’s substantial one-time equalization payment, and monthly alimony to her ex, are de rigueur for a celebrity divorce, one stipulation stands out—that the couple’s two children be vaccinated against COVID-19, based upon the recommendations of the children’s pediatrician.



For two years now, families have been weathering the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its early stages, COVID-19 forced parents to reckon with differing views about how to protect their children and other family members from the virus, leading to disagreements over whether children would wear masks, attend school, and visit family and friends.



With the advent of several major COVID-19 vaccines becoming approved for adults last year, parents were confronted with new decisions as to their own vaccination.



For divorced couples sharing custody, the vaccination status of each parent became a hot-button issue. In a case decided in New York County Supreme Court in October 2021, Justice Matthew F. Cooper ruled that a father’s in-person parental access (visitation rights) with his three-year-old child would be suspended until the father got vaccinated or submitted to weekly testing.



Now that a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved via Emergency Use Authorization for children as young as five years old, a new front of vaccination decisions has reached a boiling point and begun spilling over into family court.



The high-profile divorce between Clarkson and Blackstock illustrates what has become a contentious and pressing issue for families nationwide.



The agreement (or disagreement) over whether to have children vaccinated is a matter that many parents are working through today.


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