Divorce in New York City is certainly different in many ways from divorce in other parts of the country. Our city provides a way of life that many who live in less metropolitan areas never have to consider. Of course, for as many advantages as the city has to offer, there are also many additional concerns.
Parents who face divorce in New York may have serious disagreements about how raising children together while living separate lives may impact the religious priorities of one or both parents. As a diverse population with many deeply rooted religious communities from many faith backgrounds, divorcing parents may find that they have strong conflicts surrounding how to raise children to participate in faith practices.
These custody issues present interesting conflicts because the court generally prefers to avoid ruling on such intensely personal issues, especially where doing so might violate the First Amendment rights of one parent or the other. If you and your spouse find yourselves in a dispute about how you should raise your child from differing faith perspectives, it is important to seek out legal counsel who understands the importance of resolving this issue fairly. With proper legal counsel, you can navigate these difficult matters fairly and professionally, making sure to keep the matter civil to protect the child you both care for immensely.
Some issues to consider
One of the most direct ways to resolve this matter is for spouses to work together to create a parenting plan that details how each side will encourage a child to participate in various religious practices. Since this is an area that the court rarely prefers to speak into, it is more likely to consider a mutually created parenting agreement that you and your child's other parent craft together.
As with all divorce matters, it is often wise to aim for compromise on all sides, acknowledging that this is often difficult to accomplish when it comes to closely held religious beliefs. Legal counsel that understands the value of the issues at stake can help you identify useful compromises that speak to the heart of the values each side holds dear.
It is wise to put this agreement in writing and to be as detailed as possible. Parenting agreements that are so vague that they do not really offer enforceable guidance may jeopardize the agreement's chances of garnering approval from a court.
If you and your spouse already have such an agreement, it is wise to look it over with a legal professional, to gain insight on any future issues and to properly update it before presenting it to a court.
Act now to set the tone for the negotiations
If you and your child's other parent need to create a fair parenting agreement about how you'll raise a child in relation to religious practices, you can save yourself many headaches by reaching out to an experienced divorce and family law attorney right here in Manhattan or Brooklyn.