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Religion

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  • The mother was of the Satmar tradition, the father Modern Orthodox. The father sought an order for the children to live with both parents and stay with him every Sunday night. The mother applied to prevent the father issuing further applications for a period of at least three years. HHJ Rowe QC concluded that the children should live with both parents: "There should not remain in place an order that might be taken to imply that the mother is more important than the father in the children’s lives." The children would spend alternate Sabbath weekends and key festival days with their father: removing the children from his religious life would cause profound damage to their relationship. The mother's application was refused. The exclusion of the father from the children's education continued to be a concern, and it would be contrary to the children's best interests to limit his ability to seek the assistance of the court. Judgment, 25/02/2020, free
  • Ms O sought a declaration, under s 55(1)(a) of the Family Law Act 1986, that she had married Mr B-M in Ghana. Mr B-M denied that there had been a marriage ceremony, or at least not one to which he had consented. Much of the ceremony had been conducted in languages Mr B-M did not speak, and it had been described as an engagement ceremony. Mr Recorder Allen QC held that what happened was sufficient to be considered a customary marriage ceremony, but that Ms O did not believe she was getting married and Mr B-M and his family had not consented to a marriage. Therefore, their marriage could not be recognised under English law and Ms O's application failed. Judgment, 03/06/2019, free
  • The main issue in this case was whether the 'marriage' – which lasted for 18 years and which produced 4 children and where all accepted them as husband and wife - in fact was to be treated in English law as not a marriage at all, not even one which could be declared void for failing to comply with the formalities of marriage. The judge found that it was a void marriage and the wife was thus entitled to a decree of nullity. Judgment, 06/08/2018, free
  • Father is transgender and now living as a woman. This is his appeal against an order which ordered no direct contact between him and his children because of possible ostracism by the North Manchester Charedi Jewish community, of which the mother and children are members. The appeal was allowed and remitted to the family court for reconsideration. Judgment, 21/12/2017, free
  • Judgment which specified the extent to which the child should be part of the father’s religious beliefs, namely to follow the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witness Church. Judgment, 12/06/2017, free

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