Wireman v. Perkins (To be published)
Dad appealed the trial court's decision denying his motion to modify visitation schedule. Dad was the sole custodian and mom had visitation. Dad wanted mom to be ordered to take daughter to church when daughter was visiting mom. He argued that the TC’s denial of his motion frustrated his authority as sole custodian. The CA affirmed the TC’s decision.
CA opined that mom must be allowed to express her religion or lack there of and to be meaningfully involved in daughters up bringing. Furthermore, not taking daughter to church would not result in physical or emotional harm to the child. Both parents should be allowed to convey their beliefs to their child. While dad has the right to make major decisions regarding daughter’s up bringing he may not dictate what mom does during her visitation time so long as no physical or emotional harm is being done to daughter. Requiring mom to take daughter to church would deprive mom of a significant portion of her visitation.
CA distinguished the instant case from Wilhelm v. Wilhelm, 504 S.W.2d 699 (Ky. 1973). In Wilhelm the CA overturned a provision of a custody order that allowed the non-custodian to enroll the child in parochial school. The CA opined that Wilhelm dealt with an issue clearly reserved for the custodial parent to decide. Whereas, requiring mom, in the instant case, to take daughter to church would clearly interfere with her visitation.
Digested by Linda Dixon Bullock, Diana L. Skaggs + Associates.