These booklets were prepared by attorneys of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are designed to help Jehovah’s Witness parents and their attorneys prepare for litigation involving child custody and visitation disputes. The overriding concern in every custody suit is the welfare and best interests of the child. In deciding which parent will better provide for a child’s best interests, courts can examine all aspects of the child’s physical, emotional, and spiritual welfare m either household. Thus religious practices and teachings may be a subject of inquiry by the court.
These booklets are also very useful for courts handling child custody cases and attorneys of non-Witness or ex-Witness parents involved in litigation with Jehovah’s Witness parents.
Preparing for a Child Custody Case Involving Religious Issues
“Explain that you are aware of many serious and possibly fatal dangers from blood and that you have made arrangements with your doctor to provide alternative non-blood management of your children’s medical and surgical needs. Acknowledge that your former mate properly has a right to have a say in any medical decisions involving the children. See Awake!, December 8, 1997, page 10; Awake!, October 22, 1988, page 12. Stress the fact that you want the best available medical treatment for yourself and your children and that avoidance of blood, in your opinion and the opinion of many in the medical community, is a sound, healthful course.Preparing for a Child Custody Case Involving Religious Issues, p. 34
Child Custody Litigation When Religion Is a Factor
Many do not consider Satan to be a real person and will find belief in Satan to be childish or fanatical. When giving an answer, distinguish the Bible’s view of Satan from the cartoon character with a pitchfork, as many people view Satan. If people believe in God and His angels, why is it childish to believe that some angels chose to disobey God?Child Custody Litigation When Religion Is a Factor, p. 31
Child Custody Litigation and the Christian Family
Armageddon marks a time of destruction of the wicked, as well as the beginning of Jehovah’s righteous new system. Emphasize the positive aspects of the event. It is not like the tragic hellfire doctrine, which keeps the wicked in torment forever.Child Custody Litigation and the Christian Family, p. 7
Preparing for Child Custody Cases
Many try to portray the beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses as dogmatic and restrictive . When answering questions about your religious beliefs and practices, emphasize the fact that you have formed your beliefs and adopted your practices after much study and reflection; your religion is not simply a matter of rules which have been imposed by the elders. You want to emphasize the fact that you are a thinking, well-balanced, and reasonable individual who is competent to act as a parent. Avoid any response which gives the impression that you are unwilling or unable to provide for your child’s best interests because of your religious beliefs.Preparing for Child Custody Cases, pp. 2 & 3.