Do you have the parental right to raise your minor child in the faith that you please "OR" does the State of Florida have a say otherwise? I try to briefly clarify in the realm of FL Family Law!
Can the FL Court Dictate My Child’s Religion? In applying this standard, courts do not reference any specific religion. As a general rule, Florida family law judges do not want to interfere on a parent's right to instill their religious values and religious traditions in their own children.
In general, parents are to practice shared parental responsibility and should make decisions together regarding the minor children, including religious decisions. But, if they are unable to decide on the children’s religious upbringing, a court will not step in unless the religious activity is harmful to the children in some way. The Fourth District Court of Appeals stated the following:
"A trial court cannot preclude the custodial parent of one religious faith from actively influencing the training of the child inconsistently with the different religious faith of the other parent, and require the custodial parent to raise the child in the other parent’s faith and cooperate with the other parent in effecting the result. We explained that courts have consistently overturned restrictions preventing one parent from exposing a child to his or her religious beliefs and practices unless there is an affirmative showing that the religious activity is harmful to the child. Allowing a court to choose one parent’s religious beliefs and practices over another’s, in the absence of a clear showing of harm to the child, would violate the first amendment. Additionally, that evidence a child is confused about conflicting religious beliefs is not a sufficient showing of harm to interfere with a parent’s religious freedom. Even if the parties agreed to raise the children in a particular religion, most legal authority is against enforcement of such agreements."
In conclusion, a trial court may not dictate what religion your children are exposed to while they are minors. The only exception is when the religious practice is directly harming the minor child in some fashion. (An example of this would more than likely be where a parent refuses necessary medical treatment for a child based upon religious beliefs).
#floridalaw #attorneythatridesrocks #southfloridaliving