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Religion and the welfare of the child, part 2

A recent case demonstrates the difficult position of the courts where the gulf between the parents’ communities is ‘too wide for the children to bridge’, writes Hannah Greene

2 August 2017

The case of J v B and The Children (Ultra-Orthodox Judaism: Transgender) [2017] EWFC 4 is the latest in a string of recently reported judgments which have highlighted the issues caused by parental separation and alienation within religious communities.

This case entered the public consciousness as it deals with a scenario believed to be the first of its kind. In J v B the mother and father of five children separated when the father left the Charedi community to live as a transgender person. Mr Justice Peter Jackson ruled that there will be no direct contact of any kind between ‘the father’ and her children, who remain within the Charedi sect. This is a marked move away from the usual child arrangements cases where there is a presumption that it is in child’s best interests to have a continuing relationship with both parents.Jackson J pointed out that both parents in J v B b...

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