A woman was jailed for one day after letting her 12-year-old son get baptized without consulting the boy’s father, her ex-husband on the decision, reports the Daily Mail.
Stephanie and Stephen Miller’s divorce contract states that decisions, including those on religious upbringing, about their children must be made together – and the boy’s mother was dragged to court.
Both the boy’s parents attended the baptism ceremony at a local church in Knoxville, Tennessee- but Steven Miller argued he should have been part of the original decision.
In court Stephanie Miller’s attorney argued that the decision to get baptized was the 12-year-old’s.
‘The child is old enough to decide where he ought to live, he is old enough to decide his relationship with the person he calls God,’ her lawyer, J. Terry Holland said.
An attorney for the boy’s father said that his client ‘wanted the opportunity to discuss with his son, as well as his mother, matters of faith leading to the ultimate decision of baptism.’
However, Knox County Circuit Court Judge Bill Swann said the case was not about religion, or even whether the boy wanted to be baptized, reported 10 News.
‘It’s not a case about baptism, or its desirability. It’s not about the boy’s desires,’ the Judge declared.
‘It’s a case about what contract the parents made and had they lived up to the contract.’
Swann decided that the mother had broken the ‘Permanent Parenting Plan’ contract, which included a condition saying the parents had to consult over the religious upbringing of their children.
With her son watching in court, Miller was arrested, charged with contempt of court and spent a day behind bars.
‘He saw his mother get arrested. It destroyed that young man,’ said Holland, who said his client plans to appeal.
Swann said that sometimes the court have to do ‘unpleasant things and enforce contract.’