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Can this really happen?

I have been going through court to determine custody of my daughter for almost a year now. We have had an evaluation by a guardian ad litem and it was under her recommendation that I have sole legal custody of my daughter. This was her belief because of domestic abuse and my ex's refusal to keep communication to email only. We were set to go to trial( after he gave in on physical custody) to argue for her legal custody. The ONLY point he is trying to get across is that he wants her baptized. He is Lutheran and I am Pagan. We used to both agree that if our daughter wants to do this when she is older, she can, but that it would be HER choice. I tried to say that if it is that important to him, he could baptize her, but only if he agrees I get full legal. Well, this was going to be the agreement until we went to court and he saw he'd have a sympathetic judge.
So here is my question..... CONT.

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Asked by Ravensong at 10:39 AM on Nov. 8, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (11)
  • CONT. If after court and the testimony of four Witnesses to his abuse( including an ex girlfriend whom he attempted to kidnap) the judge still grants joint legal custody, what can I do?? I am really worried that this is going to come down to religion as they tried to paint me as a 'weirdo'. I feel that if I was jewish, or Muslim, or anything else that it wouldn't have even gone to trial. Anyone know anything about this?

    Answer by Ravensong at 10:40 AM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • You aren't required to profess your faith in court. You can simply say "I feel strongly that it is my duty as a loving parent to give my child options about her faith."

    If he "insults" you by calling you pagan in court, you don't have to acknowledge this. Think of it as if he were calling you a hag or a B****. If the judge says, "Are you really a pagan?" Then just say, "I am not currently affiliated with any church."

    Also remind the judge, "Matters of religion are not for courts to decide, but for loving parents. My ex husband is NOT capable of being a loving parent. His history of violence proves this. He is simply trying to use the sensitive topic of religion to shroud his violent nature."

    Honestly, the judge is going to look at his criminal record and ignore most everything that he says. You'll be shocked at how stupid he looks.

    Answer by ecodani at 11:07 AM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • We already had trial. There is a point right before the judge hears testimony where he can decide if he wants to rule or not( given the guardian's report) the judge said, " well I want to hear why I should agree with this report" after my ex's lawyer pressed the point of the baptism. I know I'm probably just worrying too much( we won't get a ruling for at least 90 days). I'm just terrified of what will happen if he is given say in her upbringing. I know he'll use it to harass and terrorize me, NOT to do what's right for her.

    Answer by Ravensong at 11:16 AM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • I am sorry you are going through this. Religious beliefs should not be included in the court system. In my state joint legal custody is the norm-however there is primary & secondary. The primary custodian has the final say. The secondary custodian has rights to see school & medical records & the right to emergency medical care. Do you know if this works the same in your state?

    Does he have any physical custody-like visitation or did he give it up completely? My ex drove me nuts for years but he finally calmed down. I hope all goes well for you. Blessed be

    Answer by Wiggles_GA at 11:34 AM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • God forbid, but if you end up with joint custody, you will have the final say in the descion making. who knows what will make the judge give him joint custody; but they do! i have joint custody with my abuser, he's athiest and i grew up jehovah's witness; but the judge said the kids live with me, he gets visitation and i get the final say of ANY descions that have to be made concerning the kids, even religion.

    Answer by ladyd6280 at 11:38 AM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • In our state, even if I have full legal custody, he still gets access to medical and school records. He just can't have a say in MAJOR decisions involving medical care, education, and religion. I am all for teaching my daughter about all faiths, I just don't want to have him pushing his weight around and yelling at me every time there is an issue with her. And that is exactly hat he will do.

    Answer by Ravensong at 11:52 AM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • I know to well where you are. I will be thinking of you and sending some positive energy your way. I have to believe that if you have the physical custody and with his issues the judge will see it your way.

    Answer by Wiggles_GA at 12:03 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Thank you! That's what I'm hoping for. This waiting is just killing me and I think it's making me worry more than I need to be worrying.

    Answer by Ravensong at 12:06 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Hopefully you do not live in the bible belt.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:17 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Nope. Minnesota

    Answer by Ravensong at 2:40 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

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