Now the Chicago newspaper reports:
In a divorce case that’s drawn national attention, a Chicago man who claims he has returned to his Catholic roots will be allowed to take his 3-year-old daughter to church, despite the objections of the girl’s Jewish mother, a Cook County judge ruled this afternoon. ...The judge is being disingenuous to cite the BIOTCh. The court made no such analysis. This was a family court that unconstitutionally encroached on religious freedom, and the public was outraged. To avoid bad publicity, the court backtracked. That's all.
But Goldfarb said in a written divorce judgment today: “This court does not find, at this time, that it would be in the best interest of Ela to restrict Joseph’s visitation. He can take Ela to church services during his visitation time if he so chooses. This court will also order that Joseph have visitation with Ela every year on Christmas and Easter.”
Goldfarb said her decision to let Reyes take his daughter to church was based on “the best interest of the child.”
The judge did not like his fellow judge's opinion being ridiculed, so he lashed out at the dad:
But, in her 30-page ruling dissolving Reyes’ six-year marriage to Rebecca Reyes, the judge also offered a stinging assessment of Joseph Reyes, a 35-year-old law student.The court was eliminating the dad from the daughter's life, and the publicity was the only thing that saved the poor girl. Sure, the judge does not like the publicity because it showed the family court judge to be a malicious bigot.
“Joseph, at times, seems to choose what is in the best interest of Joseph, rather than what is in the best interests of Ela,” the judge wrote. ...
The judge also was critical of Reyes’ efforts to publicize his case, ...
It is also offensive for the judge to attack the dad for acting in his own interest. Only a family court would consider it a crime for a man to act in his own interest. I hope the dad is taking care of his own interest. If he does not, then he would probably have a psychological disorder.
Update: The court's opinion, as well as the previous opinion, are available on this legal blog.
I'm glad to see this outcome. If a loving father has the time and resources to fight to play an equal role in his child's life, his psychological well being should be questioned if he doesn't choose fight for his children. People who are selfish rarely go to court to fight to take on responsibility for other people. I was accused of wanting time with my children just to hurt their mother. If someone is an "all about me person" why would they fight to take on responsibility that would take away from from their "me time". I've never been the one to complain about not having enough "me time". I've never declared that I had to "find myself" and used it as an excuse for running from responsibility. People who think they need a lot of "me time" should rethink having children. If a man acts irresponsibly, he is irresponsible. There is a long list of excuses that are used to rationalize irresponsible behavior of a mother. Since when did being a divorced loving father become synonymous with psychological disorder? My ex got away with claiming that her psychological issues were my fault. If I were to give up fighting for my daughters because I couldn't handle the emotional and financial burden associated with fighting false accusations, unnecessary psychological evaluations, and false arrests (the court dismissed the charge), then the court would see me as weak and uncaring father. Unfortunately, I'm considered to be aggressive and intimidating because I don't quit.
Joseph Reyes was looking out for his best interest because it just happened to coincide with the best interest of his child. Since the Judge ruled that Joseph could take his daughter to church, it only further justifies bringing scrutiny to the first judge. If judges felt the public was watching their every move, they would be less likely to make arrogant and nonsensical rulings. If a judge or psychologist feels there is something wrong with my internet content, file charges or sue me. If not, leave my children out of it. If you can't sensor people with the law, don't use their children as a means of extortion in an attempt to silence the public scrutiny. What would have been the "proper channel" for Joseph Reyes to take? File a complaint against the Judge? Go to the bar association? That's what they want you to do. Goldfarb's decision probably wouldn't warrant a public reprimand by the state or the bar association. Even if it did, it wouldn't hold a candle to the public reprimand she received from the national media.
Keep keeping us informed about situations like this AngryDad because the system will never be fixed until the public understands that it is broken.
You are right. They will blame you no matter what. And if they cannot think of anything else to say, then they will blame you for doing what is best.
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