Can a family court dictate what religion children of a divorce will be raised or participate in?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a family court dictate what religion children of a divorce will be raised or participate in?

My ex is threatening to take me to court if I don’t agree to putting my son, 14, in a seminary/religious class. My son attends a public school that allows certain students release time during school hours to attend seminary classes. He has stated to me and his counselor that he does not want to attend seminary classes. He failed 2 classes last semester, and is taking a credit recovery class which my ex wants him to drop to take seminary instead. We have joint custody.

Asked on January 24, 2012 under Family Law, Arizona

Answers:

Hong Shen / Roberts Law Group

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

State laws vary at this point. At one hand, you have the parent's first amendment rights to protect. At the other hand, the court must also protect the best interest of the child. Many states follow one standard, that is, actuall and substantial harm to the child. If the court finds the religious practice does actual and substantial harm to the child, then the court must protect the kid's best interest first, even if it restricts the first amendment rights of the parents. Double check your state laws though since it may follow a different standard.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption