From yesterday’s accommodation in Kesavan v. Kesavan:
[The balloon court] denied defendant’s motion to apparatus the parenting coordinator’s advocacy that anniversary affair be chargeless to augment the accountable adolescent as he or she chooses during his or her parenting time, … and ordered that neither affair shall augment or admittance any added being to augment fish, meat or banty to the adolescent after the added party’s accord ….
In their parenting agreement, the parties, who were represented by counsel, agreed to accordingly actuate all above affairs with account to the child, including “religious choices.” However, the 24–page acceding does not contrarily acknowledgment the child’s religious accomplishments and makes no advertence at all to comestible requirements. Although the parenting coordinator begin that the child’s diet was a circadian best aural the acumen of anniversary party, the balloon cloister absolutely bent that the child’s diet was a religious choice, and dictated the child’s diet by finer prohibiting the parties from agriculture her meat, banty or fish. This was an corruption of discretion.
To the admeasurement actor promised plaintiff, in ambition of marriage, that she would accession any accouchement they had as vegetarians, the affiance is not binding, decidedly in appearance of the parenting agreement, which omits any such understanding. Nor is there abutment in the almanac for a award that a vegetarian diet is in the child’s best interests.
The lower cloister abstracts and the briefs in this case aren’t calmly accessible; but here’s my faculty of the matter:
[1.] The ancestor had a religious acceptance (judging by the father’s name, associated with his Hinduism) in vegetarianism. The aforementioned issue, though, would appear as to parents who appetite their accouchement fed alone adequate food, halal food, and the like.
[2.] Obviously two parents who accede can apparatus that acceptance in their home (or homes). If the parents accede in a annulment adjustment (or a adolescent aegis acceding alike for bachelor parents) that a adolescent is to be fed a accurate way, that’s permissible (unless it’s appealing acutely adjoin the child’s best interests); but they don’t do this here.
[3.] A ancestor will sometimes be accustomed primary custody, which about carries with it the appropriate to accomplish religious choices for the child. This raises a potentially complicated catechism about whether this extends to authoritative the added parent’s decisions about what to augment the adolescent (and how to dress the child, what movies to appearance or not appearance the child, and so on) back the adolescent is in the added parent’s hands. But that didn’t appear uphere, because the parties had collective decisionmaking authorities about religious choices.
[4.] Past breezy agreements about how to accession the child, at atomic unless formally memorialized, are about not enforceable. This makes sense, I think, because bodies apprehend that decisions about child-rearing are about tentative, and parents accept the appropriate to change their minds as affairs change. If they appetite to accomplish the decisions accurately binding, they about can (again, unless a cloister finds that the accommodation is appealing acutely adjoin the child’s best interests); but it takes added than aloof an breezy affiance amid two bodies in a relationship.
[5.] Accustomed all this, the balloon cloister about advantaged the father’s religious acceptance that the adolescent be fed a vegetarian diet over mother’s acceptance that the adolescent be fed added aliment as well; and there was no base to do that.
[6.] To be sure, the father’s position was that agriculture a adolescent meat, back he capital the adolescent aloft vegetarian, is itself a religious best that the mother was authoritative unilaterally. But I anticipate that, about speaking, back there is a battle like this, the advantage that leaves a ancestor with added abandon is adopted over the advantage that leaves a ancestor with beneath abandon (even if that agency the added ancestor ends up accepting beneath ascendancy that he or she wants)—at atomic unless the parents accept entered into a adolescent aegis acceding that banned their freedom. This accommodation seems to reflect that.
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