Posts Tagged ‘Custody & Visitation,’

Trial Court Erred In Awarding Right of Religious and Cultural Upbringing Solely to the Custodial Parent

Louisiana, March 10, 2010: D.R.S. (Father) and L.E.K. (Mother) were not married, but had a child. The family Court gave Mother physical custody, with sole right of determining religious and cultural  upbringing of the child. Father was  awarded visitation only. On appeal by the Father, Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit reversed.

The Court, in Case of D. R. S. v. L. E. K., Nos. 09-1274-09-1275, found “Though the custodial or domiciliary parent may raise the child in a legitimate religion of his/her own choosing, that parent may not force that religion or religious affiliation upon the noncustodial parent or preclude the noncustodial parent from pursuing his/her own religious affiliation and sharing same with the child provided doing so does not negatively affect the best interests of the child. There is no statutory nor jurisprudential authority to support the trial court’s ruling that the custodial or domiciliary parent has the sole authority to mandate “what belief system is presented to the child in . . . any home in which the child visits or resides.”

For the complete texts of the Decisions, send an e-mail to Admin.

Judges Must Avoid Imposing Their Own Cultural Preferences in Hague  Convention Disputes

Washington, May 17, 2010: Mr. Abbot, British, married, Mrs. Abbot,  U.S. citizen, had a child, A.J.A.,  in Hawaii, and lived in Chili, where they got divorce. Under Chilean law, Mrs. Abbot received custody of A.J.A., and Mr. Abbot was granted the visitation with the right of stopping A.J.A. from leaving Chile without his permission (called “ne exeat”).

In violation, Mrs. Abbot removed A.J.A. from Chile to Texas, where Mr. Abbot (first through the State, and then the Federal Court for the Western District) sought to return A.J.A. under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Convention) and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA), back to Chile.

Neither the State, nor the Federal District Court in Texas, sided with Mr. Abbot, that the “ne exeat” is a custody right. The U.S. States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed.

The United States Supreme Court in an opinion filed May 17, 2010,  disagreed and reversed.

The Court in its opinion noted that  Mr. Abbot’s right to decide A. J. A.’s country of residence gives him rights to determine the shape of his early and adolescent years and his language, identity, and culture and traditions.

The Court found that few decisions are as significant as the language the child speaks, the identity he finds, or the culture and traditions she will come to absorb.

The Court observed that “Judges must strive always to avoid a common tendency to prefer their own society and culture, a tendency that ought not interfere with objective consideration of all the factors that should be weighed in determining the best interests of the child. ”

For the complete texts of the Decisions, send an e-mail to Admin.

Chinese Father Who Did Not Involve Child in Cultural Activities Cannot Complain From Adverse Custody Order

Ohio (July 10, 2010): Father, Chinese, appealed from a domestic relations division order denying him shared custody time with the eight year child of the marriage.  Father claimed that denial of custody time, limits his ability to introduce the child to the Chinese culture.

In Case of Kong v. Kong, Court Of Appeal Of Ohio for the Eighth Appellate District, County Of Cuyahoga, disagreed. The Court noted that Father failed to testify or provide evidence at trial showing that the child was participating in any cultural or heritage-based activities that would be curtailed as a result of an order denying shared parenting.

For the complete texts of the Decisions, send an e-mail to Admin.
Assuming the infant is being cared for
primarily in one parent’s home, the
following are some examples of contacts
By the non-residential parent.
 Three non-consecutive days per week
for two hours each day.
Many infants take multiple naps and require
feeding every three or four hours during the
day. If at all possible, time with the nonresidential
parent should aim at not disrupting
the infant’s nap and feeding pattern.
 Three non-consecutive days per week
for three hours each day.
Overnight, if appropriate.
If a parent has not been involved in care-giving
previously, these short and frequent visits will
help to develop a mutually secure relationship
and allow the parent to master the tasks and
sensitivity required to care for an infant. As the
care-giving skills are mastered, the parent-child
bond strengthens and the time with the infant
may increase.
 Three non-consecutive days each
week for three-four hours each day.
 One weekend day for up to eight hours.
Overnight, if appropriate.
Children at this age still require a predictable
and consistent daily routine. Communication
between the parents about the infant’s routine
and any new developments is essential to
enhance the infant’s adjustment.
One weekend day for ten hours.
One mid-week for three hours.
Overnight, if appropriate.
Children of this age go through many changes,
such as weaning from the bottle, toilet training,
beginning pre-school, and adjusting to new
siblings. Parents should avoid choosing a plan
that requires the child to change routines

For further information, visit the Los Angles County Superior Court Website at: