Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, January 18, 2013

Judge forbids attending wedding

A New York family court has intervened in a family to decide whether a 7-year-old child could travel to Israel to attend the wedding of a relative. The parents are married and not seeking divorce. The mom wanted the kid to go, but the dad submitted his rabbi-uncle's opinion that Israel should be boycotted because of Zionism. The judge ruled:
the issue is before this court de novo, under these particular facts and circumstances, the applicable standard is the best interest of the child....

The attorney for the child, who met with his client on one (1) occasion with the assistance of a Yiddish interpreter supplied by the mother, has taken the position, on behalf of his client, that his client would miss the mother ...

Certainly, those issues can be explored during a trial after forensic evaluations of the parties and the child and an in camera interview of the child. At this juncture, it is not in this child’s best interest to require him to travel to Israel for a celebration; the emotional risk to him outweighs any benefit that conceivably would be derived from the experience. Furthermore, the mother did not demonstrate any serious adverse affects that would be contrary to the child’s best interests if he were to stay
Everything is wrong here. The judge should not be intervening in a marriage to make a routine parental decision. The child should be speaking English, not Yiddish. A 7-year-old child does not need his own attorney. The child does not need to be interviewed about whether he will miss his mom. The judge should not be making a du nove decision about attending a wedding. The "best interest of the child" is no standard, and is just an excuse for the judge to apply his personal prejudices. The judge did not actually make any determinations about the interests of the child. A forensic evaluation by a psychologist will tell the court nothing about the merits of Zionism. Evaluating the emotional risk from attending a relative's wedding is also absurd. The judge complains about insufficient litigation, but no amount of evidence and trials will resolve this issue. It ought to be unconstitutional for an American judge to take sides in an internal family religious dispute.

Family court judges have been assuming the power to intervene in families and micromanage their lives. Parents have no rights if judges have the power to decide whether a child attends a wedding.

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