Thursday, January 22, 2015

Custody Provisions Did Not Violate Father's Free Exercise Rights

In Roderick v. Lynn, (WA App., Jan 20, 2015), a Washington state appeals court rejected a father's contention that provisions of a parenting plan ordered in a child custody suit violated his free exercise rights. The mother was given sole decision-making authority as to the child's religious upbringing, and the father was prohibited from moving with the child to Israel.  The appeals court said that no free exercise problem arises so long as the father is not prohibited from sharing his faith with the child. It added that the trial court's order limiting the father's contact with the child was not an attempt to abridge the father's religious freedom, but was based on the trial court's finding that he had an untreated mental health condition that endangered the child.