In the state of Minnesota, religion is considered an issue dealt with through legal custody. If the parents can agree on the bigger issues in a child’s life, such as religion or where the child will attend school, the court will often grant joint legal custody and allow the parents to make those decisions together. However, if there has been domestic abuse or there is a clear indication that the parents are unable to communicate and work out disagreements over legal custody matters, the court may grant sole legal custody to one parent over the other.
If one parent has sole legal custody and the other parent violates it by exposing the child to another religion, the parent with legal custody may file a motion asking the court to hold the offending party in contempt of court. This basis for this is that the offending party violated a court order and is not following the terms that the court set out. The offending party is given the opportunity to admit or deny that they violated the order, and if the court finds they did violate it then purge conditions must be set to rectify the situation. The party would not go directly to jail. Jail is not meant to be a punishment, but rather a tool to gain compliance of that party.
If you do not have legal custody but would like the court to consider allowing you to address your religious beliefs or other matters, you are able to file a motion with the court. The court may look at the issue and if the judge finds it is in your child’s best interests, they may order something other than what the parent with sole legal custody would like.
If you have questions about legal custody and your rights, call the attorneys at Heimerl & Lammers for a free initial consultation today.