An Indiana man is claiming a commissioner used his religion against him when deciding who would receive custody of his children.
The father is claiming his ex-wife received full custody of the couple’s three children just because his is agnostic, and does not share the same religious beliefs as his ex-wife, who is a Christian.
According to sources, while the commissioner did look at religious instruction when making the child custody decision, it was not the only factor involved. The ruling also mentions a protective order that the mother once took out on the man, and that the father would allegedly curse in front of the children.
However, documents used for the ruling also claim that the mother would leave the children home alone, and has at times not fed them breakfast.
According to sources, the Indiana courts do look at religion when making child custody decisions in terms of whether both parents can share “authority” for making major decisions for the children in terms of health care, education and religious training. However, an Indiana University School of Law professor is claiming that the father may have a good reason to appeal, since religion should be taken into account only if the children are being harmed by the parent’s religious beliefs or practices.
When looking at the reasoning behind looking at religions, one has to wonder if the commissioner had looked at both the parents’ religions, and deemed one to be a more acceptable way to raise children. In addition, this man’s situation also brings up the possibility that the mother was favored by the courts, therefore impeding on the father’s rights as a parent.
Either way, according to sources, the man plans on appealing the custody decision.
Source: THEINDYCHANNEL.COM, “Father Claims Religious Beliefs Cost Him Custody,” 2 Dec. 2010