A man has lost a bid to get full custody of his son claiming he is being harmed because his ex-wife practices the Hare Krishna religion.
A Murcia Provincial Court judge in Cartagena ruled there were no grounds to change the current shared custody arrangement.
He also rejected a counter-claim from the mother who wanted full custody of the boy.
The judge said that a psychologist will be appointed to act as a ‘parenting coordinator’ to ensure both parents try to get on for the benefit of their son.
The expert will also monitor that the child is not exposed to anything that will be detrimental to his development including ‘certain religious or spiritual practices’.
The father presented videos to the court of his son taking part in Hare Krishna rituals with his mother.
The Hare Krishna movement is a branch of Hinduism, formally known as Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Its name comes from its chant — Hare Krishna — which devotees repeat over and over.
The boy’s father told the court that the Hare Krishna cult in which his ex-wife is involved is a ‘sect that leads devotees to rigidity in behaviour and sexual relationships which prohibits free thought, as it is a guru who mediates for them’.
The court stated that ‘the religious condition of one of the parents cannot be a sufficient cause to limit the rights and obligations of guardianship and custody, unless it was an extreme religious practice, which was imposed on the minor and irreparable damage was proven’.
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