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Woman Jailed for Failing to Vaccinate Son in Michigan Was the Right Decision

If you've been reading the news lately then you've already seen the article about a woman in Michigan who was jailed for seven days for failing to have her nine-year-old son vaccinated.

This article stayed with me because I felt like the media really got it wrong. There was much debate about whether the state or the courts can mandate a parent to get their child vaccinated but that wasn't the real issue in this case.

The issue in this case was that the mother, Rebecca Bredow agreed via court order to have her child vaccinated. She then changed her mind after she agreed to the court order and refused to follow through.

As a divorce lawyer it's very hard to get across to clients that once you agree to something and it becomes a court order you must follow it. If you don't follow it then just like Ms. Bredow you face the risk of being held in contempt of court and being jailed, ordered to pay attorney's fees or you risk losing custody of your child.

Just like children who don't take their parents seriously there are also many litigants that don't take the judge seriously when it comes to following court orders. When one judge finally does decide to follow through with the consequences of not following a court order then everyone acts surprised.

You should never be surprised by a judge penalizing you for not following court orders.