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Custody Decision May Not Consider Parent's Religious Beliefs On High Schooling
In Gove v. Petty, (WI Ct. App., April 17, 2007), a Wisconsin state appellate court reversed a trial court's decision that had removed a high school age child, Basyl, from custody of her Amish mother. The trial court had transferred custody on health and education issues to Basyl's father, with the mother retaining limited joint custody rights. The father wanted the child to receive a traditional high school education, while the mother, based on her Amish beliefs, had agreed only to home school the child. The court of appeals held that the trial court should not have considered the parents' different views on schooling Basyl in making its custody decision. The appellate court said: "we do not believe Basylâ€™s placement or custody could be changed on the singular basis that her sole legal custodian practices a religion that rejects higher education." The court remanded the case to the trial court for a determination using only permissible factors. Yesterday's Appleton (WI) Post-Crescent covers the decision. [Thanks Ann Althouse to via Religionlaw listserv for the lead.]
From Religion Clause posted 2007-04-18.