Freedom of Religion; which parent can decide what religion to raise the child in?


#1

we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, however the courts try to stay neutral to making decisions on religion.

My question is this: Which parent decides the child’s religion until the child is of age and knowledg to act upon his own free will?? This is in a case of where the parents are not toghether! The mother has been raising him for ONE way, in the SAME church for 6yrs. Now, after 5yrs of not having any contact w/ the father, he has started to play an active role in raising his son for one year. And now has a “new found” faith for only 2.5 months now. Mother’s religion and teachings are COMPLETELY different from father’s, and he wants to take his son to his church on his weekends; mother, however, prayed, got coaching, etc… and found father’s religion to be a cult!! Said no way, etc…
so, can the courts rule on this?? How would they rule?? Can the church help the mother??
anyone w/ any knowledge is much appreciated. And a quick response is equally appreciated. Mother’s heart is breaking for her baby’s salvation to not be compromised!!


#2

As a parent that went through a divorce it is the COurts that decide who makes what decisions etc.

When my exhusband and I got divorced we had a parenting plan that listed who made the choices regarding school, religion, health etc. among other things. It was something that we both agreed upon :slight_smile:
we decided that we both would make these decisions so that is what the court has on record.


#3

My ruling would be which ever parent is Catholic would have the right to decide :thumbsup:

I can not imagine a court deciding on this one way or the other. I am in Juvenile Justice right now and we have discussed religion in ruling on certain things, like taking into account motivations based on religion but never which parent has the right to force a religion.

Edit May depend alot on which state your in as well


#4

[quote=Karin]As a parent that went through a divorce it is the COurts that decide who makes what decisions etc.

When my exhusband and I got divorced we had a parenting plan that listed who made the choices regarding school, religion, health etc. among other things. It was something that we both agreed upon :slight_smile:
we decided that we both would make these decisions so that is what the court has on record.

[/quote]

Wow, thank you for such a quick response. But what happens when there is NO agreement and both sides are aggressive in this matter. What it has boiled down to in short:
father abandoned son for 5yrs, has been an active father for one year. He has court ordered “supervised” visitation w/ no time limitaion, he has to file for a modification to change it!
Out of, what she thought was, best interest of the child, let the father have him on weekends, thru 1/2 the summer, vacations, etc. in this year. The religion factor has determed her to go back to supervised visits! Where he attends school(a private school), where he attends church and the family he lives w/ (mom, brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles) are all the same religion, so his father’s teachings would pose a threat to the child!! In terms of confusion, ending up hating mommy for teaching him wrong or telling him that daddy’s church does not pray to the same Jesus, thus thinking she is telling him that ‘DADDY’ is wrong! The confliction is HUGE!


#5

[quote=dragonfly]we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, however the courts try to stay neutral to making decisions on religion.

My question is this: Which parent decides the child’s religion until the child is of age and knowledg to act upon his own free will?? This is in a case of where the parents are not toghether! The mother has been raising him for ONE way, in the SAME church for 6yrs. Now, after 5yrs of not having any contact w/ the father, he has started to play an active role in raising his son for one year. And now has a “new found” faith for only 2.5 months now. Mother’s religion and teachings are COMPLETELY different from father’s, and he wants to take his son to his church on his weekends; mother, however, prayed, got coaching, etc… and found father’s religion to be a cult!! Said no way, etc…
so, can the courts rule on this?? How would they rule?? Can the church help the mother??
anyone w/ any knowledge is much appreciated. And a quick response is equally appreciated. Mother’s heart is breaking for her baby’s salvation to not be compromised!!
[/quote]

I would think some expert in child psychology would offer input. For the Church point of view. If one of the parents is Catholic. The other parent was advised of the Catholics responsibility to Baptize and raise any and all children in the Catholic faith. They said that they understood this responsibility and implicitly agreed not to interfere. I personally still think that it was a good idea and should still be required that this be in writing and signed by the non-Catholic before the Bishop gives his permission for the wedding.


#6

Wow, thank you for such a quick response. But what happens when there is NO agreement and both sides are aggressive in this matter. What it has boiled down to in short:
father abandoned son for 5yrs, has been an active father for one year. He has court ordered “supervised” visitation w/ no time limitaion, he has to file for a modification to change it!
Out of, what she thought was, best interest of the child, let the father have him on weekends, thru 1/2 the summer, vacations, etc. in this year. The religion factor has determed her to go back to supervised visits! Where he attends school(a private school), where he attends church and the family he lives w/ (mom, brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles) are all the same religion, so his father’s teachings would pose a threat to the child!! In terms of confusion, ending up hating mommy for teaching him wrong or telling him that daddy’s church does not pray to the same Jesus, thus thinking she is telling him that ‘DADDY’ is wrong! The confliction is HUGE!
If there is no agreement than she should go back to court…and get all issues resolved (Child Support, visitation, and Parenting Plan), That is just my two cents!


#7

Question: If the court order is limited to supervised visits, I will assume that the father does not have guardianship?? Therefore the guardian already has control over the situation. I would contact the lawyer.


#8

[quote=Karin]Wow, thank you for such a quick response. But what happens when there is NO agreement and both sides are aggressive in this matter. What it has boiled down to in short:
father abandoned son for 5yrs, has been an active father for one year. He has court ordered “supervised” visitation w/ no time limitaion, he has to file for a modification to change it!
Out of, what she thought was, best interest of the child, let the father have him on weekends, thru 1/2 the summer, vacations, etc. in this year. The religion factor has determed her to go back to supervised visits! Where he attends school(a private school), where he attends church and the family he lives w/ (mom, brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles) are all the same religion, so his father’s teachings would pose a threat to the child!! In terms of confusion, ending up hating mommy for teaching him wrong or telling him that daddy’s church does not pray to the same Jesus, thus thinking she is telling him that ‘DADDY’ is wrong! The confliction is HUGE!
[/quote]

If there is no agreement than she should go back to court…and get all issues resolved (Child Support, visitation, and Parenting Plan), That is just my two cents!

yes, they are. He has filed to modify for “standard” visitations which are: every other weekend, holiday and part of the summer, whith no restrictions on how he raises the child while the child is w/ him!! So can or will the courts decide on how he is being raised over at his Dad’s w/ reference to religion?? And then yes, he is also petitioning for Joint Custody! He does not have custody right now, the Mother has ALL rights!! Which she enforced the “supervised” visitations and stopped letting the child go over there! Do to his response of “you do not tell me what to do in my house with my son, I will raise him however”


#9

it is supposed to be the custodial parent, but in actual fact, it is the parent with the best lawyer in a contested case like this. the best interests of the child will always be sacrificed to expediency. I have been asked to supply court testimony twice on Catholic Church requirements for sacramental preparation in custody suits, in both cases the Catholic parent won legally but there is no mechanism to force compliance by the other parent.


#10

Dragonfly, I understand this situation is extremely delicate and close to your heart. If you don’t mind my asking, what religion has the father of the child become involved with? What religion is the mother? Was the father involved in any religion at the time the child was born?

My own experience has been that the court will probably allow each parent to expose the child to his or her religion, barring anything that may endanger the child physically or psychologically. Judges tend to be very hesitant to give the appearance of legally favoring one religion over another.

I do agree with other posters who have suggested that the parents legally regularize the visitation, child support, and other matters. It would help everyone involved to know precisely which rights and responsibilities are theirs and which are not.

God bless. :bible1:


#11

[quote=Mermaid]Dragonfly, I understand this situation is extremely delicate and close to your heart. If you don’t mind my asking, what religion has the father of the child become involved with? What religion is the mother? Was the father involved in any religion at the time the child was born?

My own experience has been that the court will probably allow each parent to expose the child to his or her religion, barring anything that may endanger the child physically or psychologically. Judges tend to be very hesitant to give the appearance of legally favoring one religion over another.

I do agree with other posters who have suggested that the parents legally regularize the visitation, child support, and other matters. It would help everyone involved to know precisely which rights and responsibilities are theirs and which are not.

God bless. :bible1:
[/quote]

No, not only was the father not ever involved in any type of religion when the child was born, but he was not in this boys life for 5 of his 6yrs!!
The Father has now become a Mormon, and the mother Catholic
and she is agreeing to the visitaions that he is requesting under the compromise that he not bring the boy to his church and not teach him his doctrines!! That is it! But he refused, bc he is the head. he is too pridefull, possesive and treats the child like a possestion. We are praying that the mother gets the right to chose her sons religion!


#12

Drangonfly-
The best bit of info anybody has given is that this woman RUN back to her attorney!!!
Each state has different laws and the attorney would be the best one to advise her!
Just a quick question if this man had nothing to do with his child for the first 5 years why did she not seek to A) have him relinquish all parental rights or B) seek when the child was born to have these issues dealt with?


#13

[quote=Karin]Drangonfly-
The best bit of info anybody has given is that this woman RUN back to her attorney!!!
Each state has different laws and the attorney would be the best one to advise her!
Just a quick question if this man had nothing to do with his child for the first 5 years why did she not seek to A) have him relinquish all parental rights or B) seek when the child was born to have these issues dealt with?
[/quote]

Dear Karen,
We DID try to have his rights revoked. It was denied, thus giving us the supervised visits. She has already consulted the lawyer about this, his legal advice was that everyone has the freedom of religion, so it will be hard to fight. But since she is not contesting that the father convert, but rather that the child not be swayed in his beliefs especially since she has always been the caregiver and the only advocate that has made such decisions. But he is also, if she does not agree to ALL of his requests(which she is, except the religion one), he will try to prove her unfit. She does not work and has no income, yet she does live w/ her parents and the child is provided w/ housing, clothing, food,education, medical, love, attention, etc… just because she is not the one who is paying for most of these things, she is resourceful enough to have them provided.
My take on it is; what are her chances?? The lawyer couldn’t say either way. But has anyone out there gone thru this or is going thru it. And what could honestly make a man think that only after 1yr. that he is father of the year and so forth. Not only that, but where is he getting the money to do all of this?? He can’t even pay his back child support of around 20,000! Can he have her medical files to try to prove a “lie” if it was not told to the child, or had any impact on him. Isn’t medical files ofher than those for mental health a huge “privacy” issue??


#14

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