Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Court Reverses Divorce Order Barring Father From Disparaging Mother's Catholic Religion

In Pierson v. Pierson, (FL App., Aug. 18, 2014), a Florida appellate court reversed the portion of a trial court's order which, in granting a dissolution of a marriage, prohibited the father "from doing anything in front of ... or around the children that disparages or conflicts with the Catholic religion." During the marriage the three children had been raised in the mother's Catholic faith, but while the parties were separated the father became a Jehovah's Witness. One of the children, during a third-grade Catholic Sunday school class, told the teacher and students that their Bible and music were wrong, their priests were bad, and he was going to grow up to be a Jehovah's Witness minister.  The appeals court concluded, however, that "the evidence did not establish the harm necessary to award the mother ultimate religious decision-making authority...."