Help when religion is a factor in child custody cases

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2019 | Child Custody |

In a New York divorce, there will be many issues in dispute as the case moves forward. One that has the potential to create a long cycle of disagreements and contentious back and forth is if there is a dispute over the religion each parent wants the child to follow and how strictly it will be implemented in the child’s life. This does not necessarily mean that the parents will be of different religions. Of course, that can be a factor. But it can also mean that the parents follow the same religion but one is more serious about it than the other. With this a concern in a child custody case, having legal advice is a must.

Few issues spark emotions like religion. It might even have been the reason why the marriage came undone. When the parties are in dispute over child custody and a relationship with children, this can be a troubling factor during the process and even after the case has been decided as negativity can fester and one parent might seek to undermine what the other parent is instilling in the child. Before having arguments about it, trying to discuss the matter rationally and come to a consensus might be preferable. The courts will listen to the viewpoints of both parents, their rights to religious freedom and gauge it in the context of what is best for the child.

The child’s best interests are always paramount. If, for example, a religion calls for corporal punishment, that will be a factor in a child custody case. Schooling and a religion-themed education could also be the catalyst for disagreement. In a best-case scenario, the parties will negotiate and be flexible in how this type of child custody dispute will be handled. The following factors generally come to the forefront: the religion the child has been raised in up to the time the marriage broke up; how the child will be impacted by any changes; and if the parents can tolerate the other’s religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Before making mistakes due to emotions that are already frazzled from the divorce, having legal assistance and guidance is critical. A law firm that understands how important religion can be and knows how to foster discussion and negotiation as well as making an argument in court is key. This is true for child custody, custody and visitation and any other issue that arises in a family law case.