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How Does Religion Factor into Custody Arrangements?

In some circumstances, courts may look at the way children are impacted by religion in determining which parent will get child custody in a divorce. It is one of five decisions made by married parents that must be made jointly, alongside decisions of residence, health care, recreation and education. 

As courts analyze how religion impacts the children after divorce, they will first determine the “status quo” heading into the divorce, or the kind of religion the parents practiced before splitting. That religion is determined to be the child’s religion, and neither parent can change it on behalf of the child unless they both agree or they get permission from the court. 

If there is no status quo religion in place, neither parent is allowed to make the decision to affiliate their child with a specific religious denomination without getting permission from the other. If a parent decides to change their religion after the divorce, it is fine for the parent to practice that religion as he or she sees fit. However, they are not allowed to force their children to go through the change of religion as well. They can openly share their beliefs with their children and explain their new faith to them, but they are prohibited from formally changing their child’s religion or forcing them to go through religious education in their new faith. 

If your ex is being difficult in regard to religion after a divorce, you can work with the courts to stop them from attempting to illegally convert your children. 

For more information about how religion affects child custody arrangements, speak with a skilled Long Island divorce attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates today. 

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