McFARLANE v. McFARLANE was a 1989 New York appellate
decision.  Cecil McFarlane and Elizabeth McFarlane were
divorced in 1983.  Elizabeth McFarlane was granted custody
of the parties' two minor daughters, now ages 14 and 10.
The children have been raised in their mother's religion -
Roman Catholicism.  Cecil McFarlane is a Jehovah's
Witness.  Cecil McFarlane had been granted overnight
visitations with his daughters pursuant to a February 1985
court order.  During such scheduled visitation periods,  
Cecil McFarlane took his daughters to his Kingdom Hall of
Jehovah's Witnesses. This action caused the older
daughter to start refusing to visit him. The younger
daughter has merely stated that she does not want to
attend WatchTower religious services with her father.

In August 1987, Cecil McFarlane filed a petition with Family
Court seeking to modify the prior visitation order to permit
additional time with his daughters The children's Law
Guardian requested that any amended visitation agreement
contain a provision whereby the children would not visit the
petitioner on Sundays and religious holidays. Thereafter,
the parties and the Law Guardian agreed to stipulate to an
amended visitation agreement which included such a
provision.  However, when the stipulation was read into the
court record by Elizabeth McFarlane's counsel on March 18,
1988, he omitted mention of the parties' agreement that
visitation with the father would not take place on Sundays
or religious holidays, and that the children would not be
taken to his Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. The
petitioner subsequently submitted a proposed order to the
Family Court which embodied the stipulation entered on
the record. The court amended the proposed order to
reflect the parties' agreement that the children would not be
taken to his Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.  Cecil
McFarlane objected to the court's amendment. This
appellate court ruled:  "A stipulation can be amended on
the grounds of mutual or unilateral mistake. ... The court
properly exercised its discretion by amending the visitation
order to reflect the full extent of the parties' original
agreement regarding religious worship."
Jehovah's Witnesses Lose in Court-Often....