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Could a mother be facing time behind bars for baptizing her kids?

The parenting plan can be one of the trickiest aspects of a couple’s split whether that couple is native to Maryland or any other state. Often, both parents including the mother and father feel that their parenting style and beliefs are in the best interest of the child and it remains up to a court to delegate what, exactly the parenting plan looks like.

One mother is facing contempt of court-of-court charges after, without the consent of her ex-husband, she baptized her two children. The former couple both maintained Christian religious views but upheld different perspectives about the appropriate age for their children to be baptized.

Contempt charges are reserved for actions that cannot be undone, like a failure to pay child support. In this case, the baptism cannot be undone. Furthermore, the father claims that the mother violated a court order in baptizing the children that stated if the former couple could not reach a mutually agreeable conclusion, the former couple sought mediation.

The father argues that even if a mediator ruled against him, at the very least he could have been present for the baptism of his two children. Instead, he feels that the mother went behind his back.

If convicted, the mother could face a fine and up to 20 days behind bars. However, this case is difficult because a court cannot rule on religious beliefs. The ruling will have to come down to whether or not the mother broke the court order in baptizing her children.

Source: NY Daily News, “Tennessee mom faces jail for baptizing her two children without husband’s consent,” April 1, 2012

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