I’ve written many times over the last few years about parents losing custody or visitation rights due to their lack of religious belief, but this case is particularly appalling if the facts in this article are true. An ex-Hasidic mother has lost custody of her kids to foster care due to her lack of religious commitment — despite accusations of abuse on the part of her ex-husband.
A 32-year-old mother from Monsey, N.Y., has lost custody of her children due largely to what a judge described as the mother’s inadequate religious observance.
Kelly Myzner, mother of three boys, ages 5 to 8, recently had her children removed from her home, following a custody battle that ended with a ruling in favor of the Hasidic father.
In a ruling dated April 22, 2013, Judge Sherri L. Eisenpress, of Rockland County Family Court, ordered the custody transfer “despite the children’s expressed wishes.” The judge acknowledged that the mother has been the children’s primary caretaker, that the children were “extremely bonded” to her, and that she appeared to be “far more involved and vigilant” about their care than the father. Still, the judge worried that the mother’s lax religious observance would “tremendously confuse” and harm the children.
Complicating the case are allegations of physical and sexual abuse brought by the mother against the father, and the judge’s speculation that the complaints were only a ploy to alienate the children from their father. Myzner claims that she had no such intentions, and the court ruling acknowledges that the father regularly used corporal punishment coupled with a bad temper.
On May 14, after an unsuccessful bid for a stay on the order, the children were removed from Myzner’s custody. Due to pending investigations against the father on abuse complaints, the children were placed in foster care.
There’s a lot more in the article, so read the whole thing. But if all that is accurate, there’s a serious injustice going on here.
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