Essay on negotiations in family law

Essay on negotiations in family law

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     Civil Courts prefer to remain impartial towards parental religious beliefs and practices when determining what is in the best interest of a child. Yet, case law makes it clear that the religious practices of the parents and the proposed course of religious education may become relevant factors for the court to consider in determining custody or visitation. Recent statistics indicate that the divorce rate in the United States has reached fifty percent and shows no sign of decline. Polls show that Americans are become more religious and that bi-religious marriages are on the rise. When the parent informs the attorney that the opposing party will attempt to use his or her religious beliefs, practices, or affiliation to discredit the case, the practioner would state that there is no place for marriage in a best interest hearing and that judge would not tolerate such irrelevant evidence. However, the reality is that religious practice may become a relevant factor and to simply dismiss the possibility of religious attack may be detrimental to the parent in any effort to obtain custody or unrestricted visitation. Religious freedom is a sacred ideal in the United States and the protection of those rights is crucial. Amendment 1 of the Constitution of the United States provides that the “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Every parent is entitled to an objective and bias-free custody or visitation trial. When the opposition’s pleading are filed with critics of the parent’s religion, negative comparisons to cults and other pejorative and conclusory statements, the parents involved will not be able to get a fair hearing. As one court succinctly states “intervention in the matters of religion is a perilous adventure upon which the judiciary should be loath to embark.”
     Everyone knows of nightmare stories about divorce, involving huge legal bills, court battles, seething resentment and emotional scars for all involved. And with such issues as religion which is fundamental to the beliefs of each parents being heard and criticized by the Court that has vague ideas and stereotypes of certain religious practices can make an already difficult experience more difficult. Divorce mediation offers separating couples the chance to work with a neu...

... middle of paper ...

...o find an objective criteria to find a viable solution.
The parties can choose to determine for themselves whether certain practices of religion can adversely affect the child listening to each other’s concerns and what is important to each side in their religious beliefs The main concerns of the parties are proper medical care, college education and activities at school and interaction with Robert’s family that Jennifer’s religious practices may forbid, the parties need to address each other’s concerns and reach an agreement about religious training which allows Bobby to be raised in households that have mutual respect for the religious differences in the other household which will ultimately benefit the child. We live in a pluralistic society. Within the high degree of integration and assimilation, differences continue exist. Full access to both parents may afford the child a bicultural as well as bi-religious experience. Furthermore, there is a value in letting the child see, even at an early age, the religious models between which it is likely to be led to choose in later life. Such religious diversity has also been supported by the judiciary.


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