MASTROPIERO v. MASTROPIERO was a 1997 Connecticut
court case.  The 1994 dissolution of their marriage granted
joint custody of the three minor children to both parents;
with physical custody granted to the Father.  In 1996, per
the desires of the three children, the Mother filed for and
was granted physical custody of the three children.  Both
parents had remarried.  Father was a Jehovah's Witness,
and given his demonstrated controlling attitude, I'm
guessing he also was an Elder in his local Jehovah's
Witness congregation:

"Father, entrusted with primary residence, immediately and
unilaterally modified the joint custodial agreement, by
effectively changing it to his own sole custody. The
judgment, incorporating their agreement, assured each of
the parents that they would share educational and medical
access and information. ...  Father consistently denied
mother a role in educational and medical issues from the
date of dissolution. He did not disclose the childrens'
educational appointments or activities. He did not share the
names of their medical or dental practitioners, nor was
mother informed of the dates or purposes of their medical
or dental appointments.  Since the date of the judgment,
conflict over the upbringing of the children has increased.
Mother has made some contribution to that conflict, but it
has been father who has been the major factor in creating
the increasing parental discord."

Specifically addressing the "Jehovah's Witness" factor, this
court stated:

"The behaviors required by father's commitment to raise
the children as Jehovah's Witnesses have been offered as
a basis for denying father custody of the children. Such a
denial would violate father's right to religious freedom
under the First Amendment. It is a fundamental law of our
land that a parent may not be deprived of a child's custody
based upon religious beliefs. Our constitution forbids this
court to evaluate the merits of father's religious practices.
...  Further, the Jehovah's Witness religion, as practiced by
father, is not a threat to the well being of the Mastropiero
children. The children will be limited in some activities that
may be seen as valuable in the social development of
children. They will not celebrate birthdays or some widely
observed holidays. They will not recite the pledge of
allegiance nor salute the flag. They will not participate in
many group extracurricular activities. They are less likely
to attend four years of college. They will not be allowed
blood transfusions. They will be expected to spend many
hours calling door to door to present their Jehovah's
Witness beliefs. But this court has been offered no expert
testimony that these religiously based variations from
communal norms threaten the childrens' best interests. Nor
was any credible evidence presented to indicate that the
children were accident prone or afflicted with health
problems that were likely to necessitate blood transfusions
... ."
Specifically addressing the Father's "assumption" of sole
custody, this court stated:

"Father has consistently and repeatedly refused to disclose
the minor childrens' doctor and school appointments to
their joint custodial mother. He refused to give mother the
childrens' medical insurance cards until pressured by this
court, making it impossible for their joint custodial mother
to initiate medical care without father's specific approval.
He placed lengthy and repeated telephone calls when the
children vacationed with their mother. He challenged
mother's authority with the children by arbitrarily
scheduling religious activities for the children while they
vacationed with her, thus interfering with mother's own
scheduling choices. He altered the terms of the childrens'
school medical releases, eliminating mother's joint
custodial role."
Specifically addressing the Father's controlling nature and
credibility, this court stated:

Father is controlling. He has limited mother's participation
as a joint custodial parent by limiting her decision making
powers. When his judgment was questioned, he refused to
discuss mother's contrary opinions.  Plaintiff mother is less
controlling. And more credible. Father was an evasive and
argumentative witness who repeatedly chose replies that
were adversarially advantageous or that masked his
intentions with ambiguity. His testimony was not credible,
particularly his representations that the children were free
to make their own choices while under his roof.
Jehovah's Witnesses Lose in Court-Often....