Jabri v. Jabri, 193 A.D.2d 782; 598 N.Y.S.2d 535 (App. Div. 1993) Court: Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, 2nd Department
The Court refused to mandate religious upbringing in Islam for the children where there was no written agreement between the father and the mothers.
The Court refused to mandate religious upbringing in Islam for the children where there was no written agreement between the father and the mother.
Father and Mother have four children, ages 16 to 22 at the time of the case. The Mother is a non-practicing Protestant, and the Father, a Muslim. Only the youngest is below the age of 18. Mother started a divorce suit based on alleged acts of cruel and inhuman treatment by the Father, as well as acts of aggression and abuse toward the children. The trial court, in its ruling, allowed for visitation with the children and the children being raised in the Islamic faith only to the extent that the children were willing.
The Father appealed the trial court’s decision. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision. The court stated that a written agreement between the spouses regarding the religious upbringing of their children must be incorporated into separation agreement, court orders or signed stipulations. Without such order, the custodial parent may determine the religious upbringing of the children. No written agreement existed between the Father and the Mother in this case. The court, citing testimony of abuse by the Father, also declined to modify the visitation order to force visitation on the children.
History: The case was appealed and the appeal dismissed by the Court of Appeals of New York. A motion to reconsider the dismissal was also denied.
Note: Cited in New York case, Arain v. Arain, 209 A.D.2d 406 at 407, in support of courts enforcing contractual agreements between spouses in regard to the religious upbringing of their child.