I’ve been following a divorce/custody case in Chicago that I wanted to share with you. It’s complicated so pay attention.
The parents divorced. The mother is Jewish. The father returned to his Catholic roots after his divorce and started taking his 3-year-old daughter to church with him. He even had the 3-year-old baptized in the Catholic Church without his wife’s permission.
The mother, Rebecca Reyes, was upset about him taking the daughter to church because she said they had an agreement to raise her in the Jewish faith. She had a judge issue a restraining order to keep him from taking the daughter to church with him.
The father, Joseph Reyes, said they never agreed to raise their daughter in the Jewish faith, they didn’t keep a kosher home and rarely observed Sabbath. He was facing fines and/or jail time if he violated the restraining order.
So yesterday, a judge removed the restraining order and said the father could take his daughter to church with him despite the mother’s wishes.
From the Huffington Post:
“But on Tuesday, Cook County Judge Renee Goldfarb said Reyes can take his daughter to “church services during his visitation time if he so chooses,” she wrote in the divorce decree. “This court will also order that Joseph have visitation with Ela every year on Christmas and Easter.” The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
Goldfarb said her decision to let Reyes take his daughter to church was based on ‘the best interest of the child.’
“The judge said she found “no evidence . . . that taking 3-year-old Ela to church during Joseph’s visitation time is or would be harmful to Ela. She is three years old and, according to Joseph, while at church she waves at the other children, looks around and giggles. This court found that testimony credible.”
OK, so there are multiple parts to this for us to discuss:
2a. Who should have the final call in something like that?
3. In general in divorce cases, which religion do the children follow if the parents differ?
4. Is it generally a problem or do the kids just follow whichever parent felt stronger in their faith?