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Can a father expose the children to a religion against the mother's wishes?

If the parents agree on a particular religion, or no religion and the parents get divorced. What if the father (or even mother) decides the kids should be exposed to another religion. Can the other parent get a court order against this on the grounds when the marriage started there was a mutual agreement to keep religion away from the kids until they are old enough to decide?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:57 PM on Aug. 10, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (12)
  • I really don't know, but I wouldn't have a problem with my child being exposed to other religions. If you have joint custody, I don't think there is anything you can do. Why are you so against your child being exposed to religion?

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:01 PM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • My guess is that you can't do anything about it. Just try hard to keep on good terms to keep conversation open andhonest between you and ex and kids.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:07 PM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • I really dont think there is allot anyone can do...they ARE a parent of the children and IMO have a right to teach them things they find vary dear to them...

    I think that Both parents should talk and see where they want the line drawn.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:03 AM on Aug. 11, 2009

  • why would he have any less right to influence their thinking in that arena? (that includes atheists, like it or not)

    Answer by autodidact at 1:01 AM on Aug. 11, 2009

  • I think you should let it go. There's no harm in exposing religion to the children, and perhaps, if they decide they like it, they are old enough to decide for themselves. Even at 3 yrs old, children are inquisitive, and they know when they really have to have that toy, so maybe if they think God, gods, or the Goddess is a good idea, then let them roll with it. However, personally, I believe I would have a problem with my kids being Satanists at 3. That's just me, and no offence to those who are Satanists, but if they chose THAT path I'd hope they were old enough to truly understand it.

    Answer by mumma28 at 1:04 AM on Aug. 11, 2009

  • I don't know what the courts position on this would be but a father has the right to teach his children his religion just as much as the mother does.  Sorry if that isn't the answer you wanted to hear, but fair is fair!


    Answer by beeky at 7:21 AM on Aug. 11, 2009

  • You could petition the court but I highly doubt that they woud rule in favor of you in that scenario. Unless the religion was some wacked out fringe group that could be proven harmful, you'll probably have to suck it up.

    Answer by deadheadjen at 8:11 AM on Aug. 11, 2009

  • Unfortunately it has been known to happen. There was a case a few years ago where a husband and wife split up. He was Wiccan - She was Catholic. They had shared custody. Now, when the kids were with the mother they went to church, bible study and whatever... When they were with the dad they went to rituals and celebrations - yadda yadda...

    The Mother took the father to court to stop him from exposing their kids to his religious practices. Unfortunately, because the father did not belong to a main stream faith the court not only ruled on the side of the mother but revoked his custody agreement until he removed all religiously linked items (alter, books...) from the open areas of his home. However the mother was NOT put under the same stipulations and was permited to take the children to church and whatnot...


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 8:59 AM on Aug. 11, 2009

  • Thankfully, the ruling was appealed and overturned eventually. But in the mean time it damaged those children and the relationship they had with their parents. A relaitionship which was already lacking after the recent devorce.

    Now, in most situations chances are a court will not step in. As a parent the father (or mother) does and should have the right to expose their own children to religion. IF the courts WOULD get involved it would set a precident and allow the courts to step in anytime the judge or other parent doesn't agree with a parent religious path. Which is NOT okay...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 9:03 AM on Aug. 11, 2009

  • With joint custody you can go to the courts, and if it was something you where doing while married and was agreed upon you might win. Proving that however is another story, and you risk the relationship with your kids and looking like the crazy ex that just wants to have control over everything.


    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 9:08 AM on Aug. 11, 2009

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