Thursday, March 10, 2011

Judge Grilling Parent in Child Custody Case

Law professor Volokh's blog on Judge Grilling Parent in Child Custody Case About the Parent’s Secular Humanism drew this comment:
This is the big problem with family law. They use a standard that their decisions must be in the best interest of the child. They can delve into just about anything they want to. They use this standard to rob parents, mostly fathers, of their right to raise their child the way they see fit.

If you don’t go to any church at all, you will likely not get custody of your child in a divorce. If you practice a religion that is out of the mainstream, such as Judaism, and the other parent is christian, you face a higher hurdle to get custody, no matter what the law says. That’s because decisions are based on the undefined standard of “best interest of the child” and some judges think that contributing money to a church is in the best interest of a child.

We need a revolution in family law. Judges should not have so much say. Parents should have full rights to raise their child as they see fit without interference from the government, unless there is evidence of abuse.

The government has no business deciding what religion or philosophy the child is raised with. If a parent wants their children to be raised as atheist jewish nazi devil worshipping racists, then that is their constitutional right.

It is extremely dangerous for government to be mandating child rearing ideologies.
The remarkable thing is that Volokh, who normally has libertarian views, did not seem to understand this comment. Others had trouble as well.

The comment is exactly correct. The core problem is that the judge is trying to decide the Best Interest Of The Child (BIOTCh). It must be abolished if we are to be a free nation.


Anonymous said...

Do you think that it's a stretch to suggest that this practice somehow violates the separation of church and state/government ? thanks.

George said...

Yes, I do think that the parent's religious freedom is violated when some family court judge considers religion as part of a test of parental fitness.

I also think that the issue should be irrelevant to family court, and that judge should not consider personal beliefs whether religion is involved or not.